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Hailey needs money fast, and will do anything to get it. Even lie on her application to enter an auction at Fetishes, a BDSM club.
She'll get the money she needs and anything else will be a bonus. She can handle one Dom for a weekend...except she ends up with one Dom too many.
Tom's reluctant to get himself back into the BDSM scene since his failed marriage. Adam loves his carefree life—nothing tying him down or keeping him in the same place for too long. Neither of them are looking for a relationship. But then wide-eyed Hailey shows up and proves to be a temptation that neither of them can pass up. They offer her an introduction to the lifestyle, and they intend to show her what it's like to be a trained submissive.
It's just one weekend...
The lines between fantasy and reality become blurred and soon Hailey fears she'll only end up with a broken heart. When she disappears, can these two Dominant men admit their true feelings for her?
Tom powered down his phone after the voicemail finished playing. It wouldn't kill him to be unreachable for the next 48 hours. His partner was covering his calls at the firm and Sara could use the time to find something else to be angry at him for. The ink hadn’t dried on the divorce papers yet, but she had no claim on him anymore.
He shook his head and sighed. Sometimes it was hard to remember why he had married that woman in the first place. One thing was certain if he had known she would be this hard to divorce he would never have done it.
Slipping the phone back into his pocket he straightened his tie and smoothed his white doctor's coat down the front. He had a part to play. His “patients” wouldn't care what was going on in his personal life, just as he was not concerned with what was going on in theirs. They were both playing parts and fulfilling needs, and his bitch of an ex-wife could wait until Monday for his response about the contents of the lake house.
Tom Schmidt was one of the top lawyers in the area. He had recently made partner at his firm this year. It was an accomplishment he had strived for, but all he had to show for it was his failed marriage. Maybe if he had been around more—he shook his head as if clearing cobwebs. Tonight was about fun.
He had started moonlighting at his friend's BDSM club, Fetishes, as the “resident physician”. He had balked at Martin’s offer at first because he wasn’t a doctor. Once he convinced him it was more about the fantasy than the actual job title he understood it more. He also knew that this was his friend’s way of getting him back into the game. He had suspicions Martin and their other friend Adam were conspiring. For or against him, he wasn’t sure yet.
People came to the club to escape and live out their fantasies, but there were still liabilities and legalities that needed a certain protocol in place. And while Tom indulged the fantasies and desires for most of the female “patients”, he also took his job seriously. The exams he conducted included making sure all the paperwork was signed. The real medical exams and tests were done before he even saw anyone, this was more of a perfunctory step.
This was a big weekend. His friend Martin ran an annual submissive auction. Women interested in being purchased for the weekend were auctioned off to the highest bidder. Most Dominants were generous in their bidding as most of it went to charity. Still, he knew the women walked away with substantial sums of money for a weekend of their time.
Thomas had cleared most of the submissives last week, finishing up a few late entrants earlier this week. He made sure all the i’s were dotted and t’s crossed so that participants in the auction could have a memorable weekend. But Martin had called him back in today for one last entrant. Peculiar since the auction was set to take place in a few hours, and most of the other submissives had spent the week at Fetishes’ social gatherings and mixers. It was good to build up interest before the auction began.
His “patient” couldn't be a regular or she would have already been cleared for play. He flipped her file open. Hailey Brookman, twenty-eight. All her paperwork seemed in order, she just needed to sign the consent form for the auction.
A last minute decision usually meant the person had been back and forth about the decision but finally decided to take the plunge. Maybe he would make certain she really knew what she was getting into.
This was going to be fun.
He walked into the room and cleared his throat to get the attention of the woman perched on the end of the exam table. Christ, she even made the hideous, pink, paper gown look attractive. Her honey colored hair came down past her shoulders in waves, a fringe of bangs fell across her forehead almost tangling in her long, dark eyelashes.
Her eyes shot up to his. Large, clear, brown eyes: looking slightly panicked back at him. She hit a button on her phone, making the screen go black and then she placed it next to her on the exam table.
"Hi, I'm Tom," he greeted her and extended his hand.
She tentatively shook it and blinked back at him.
"First time here? Or have you played before?" He tried to start a casual conversation, an attempt to break the ice while she worked through her nerves.
"Tom?" she asked, her voice unsure.
He turned, giving her his full attention. "Yes?"
"Sorry," she murmured and shook her head. "I thought your nurse said you were named something else."
He chuckled. "Expecting Dr. Love, were you?" He had resisted the moniker, but the staff at Fetishes still tried to force it on him.
Her cheeks colored and he saw the beginnings of a first smile, "I thought it seemed a little corny."
His sentiments exactly. "I usually just go by Tom.” Should he tell her he wasn’t a real doctor? She knew that, right? “You can call me whatever you like," he told her as he gave her a wink.
Her blush deepened and she dropped her gaze to his shoes. So much for breaking the ice, he seemed to be making her more uncomfortable by the second.
"And you are," he began, glancing at her file again, even though he had studied it seconds ago, "Hailey?"
He lifted her chin, forcing her to meet his gaze, "That's no way to respond. Yes, sir or Yes, doctor will suffice. Whoever you end up with this weekend probably won't accept nodding as an answer."
She blinked again and swallowed, her skin felt clammy to his touch.
"That is if they allow you to speak. Some of these Dominants get off on taking away all kinds of privileges," he added, with a smile. He was aiming for a laugh, another smile, something. She seemed so tense.
Instead, she sucked in a sharp breath and her eyes widened further if that was even possible.
What the hell was Martin doing? Had they signed up a complete newbie to participate in the auction? Normally only regulars and experienced submissives would be permitted.
"Are you all right, Ms. Brookman?" He narrowed his eyes in concern. He released her chin and stepped over to the sink to get her a cup of water. She looked like she was on the verge of panicking, she had not appreciated his humor.
"I'm not sure I should be here," she stammered out, and he heard the paper covering on the table crinkle beneath her.
He turned back just in time to see her feet hit the floor and then she swayed to the side. She stumbled a half-step before her legs gave out.
He watched the scene as if it were in slow motion. He couldn't make his body move fast enough to get back across the room before she dropped like a ton of bricks.
Taking two strides, he covered the length of the room and dropped to his knees beside her. Using the training from his CPR certification class, he moved his hand over her head, checking for blood or a lump. At the same time, he found her pulse in her wrist and glanced at his watch.
Her heart rate was within normal range, which was reassuring. “Are you okay?” he asked, making sure she hadn’t lost consciousness.
“I’m fine, I’m fine,” she repeated as tears leaked from her eyes.
“You hit your head pretty hard,” he said, reaching for his phone. “I’m going to call for some help.”
“No please,” she begged. “I’m fine, really. I just got a little dizzy.”
Her wide eyes blinked up at him and he already lost. He didn’t want to argue with her, but he wasn’t letting her stay here.
~ ~ * ~ ~
Hailey woke reluctantly, she wanted nothing more than to roll over and drift back into sleep, but someone was trying to rouse her.
"Hailey, Hailey, wake up for me."
Her head throbbed, but she peeled her eyes open to look back at the person demanding she wake up.
"There you are," he said with a smile.
Hailey blinked back at the man. She looked around the room and embarrassment flooded her as she remembered him carrying her into his house.
"Does your head hurt?" the man continued.
She placed a hand on her head and winced, she had a pounding headache, "Hurts," she forced out, her voice groggy and thick with sleep.
He handed her a washcloth to put on her forehead. Then he asked her to sit up and to try to stay awake while he got her some aspirin.
Hailey obeyed, sliding herself up to sit against the headboard. Her heart raced as she tried to get her bearings. She pulled the blankets back finding she still wore the t-shirt and sweatpants this nice man had helpfully supplied.
She needed to get back to that club, Fetishes. Her appointment with the doctor had been the last step before she could enter that auction and get the money.
How long was she asleep? Her exhaustion from working doubles all week had finally taken over. She needed to go. Tom. That had been his name. He looked too cute to be a doctor.
He had been so insistent that she get help after her dizzy spell came on, she didn’t want to have to explain that she didn’t have medical insurance. She avoided the hospital at all costs. Besides, she was in good enough hands with him, right? That’s why she had agreed to go with him.
Standing on shaky legs, she reached out for the nightstand to steady herself. She left the washcloth in the bed and turned to search for some shoes.
The man walked back in the room and looked at her in surprise. "Oh, no. Back in that bed, right now," he said, in a gentle yet firm tone.
"But, I have to—"
He silenced her with a wave of his hand, placing a glass of water and a bottle of aspirin on the nightstand. Taking hold of her elbow, he guided her back into bed. Once she was securely under the covers he arched an eyebrow at her.
Her face flush with heat at his censuring look.
He handed her two aspirin and gave her the water, never looking away as she swallowed the pills. Seemingly satisfied she had followed his instructions he fished his phone from his pocket.
"Look up here," he instructed, pointing to his eyes. He glanced down at his phone then leaned closer, staring into her eyes. Her breath hitched at his close proximity and undivided attention. Scrolling through his screen he peppered her with questions about her vision and whether or not she felt faint or dizzy.
He gestured to her head, "You landed pretty hard. Are you sure you didn’t hit your head?"
She shook her head, her mind racing to formulate a plan.
"Has that happened before?"
“No,” she lied. "Where am I?"
"I brought you back to my house."
That part she remembered, she was awake when she had gotten into his car, but couldn’t remember how far she was from the club. She started to worry she missed the auction.
"Easy," he said, noticing her panic. "I asked if you had somewhere to go and it only got you more upset. When I got you into my car, you fell asleep.”
She nodded, remembering now how sweet and kind he had been. He made her feel safe, which was ridiculous, she knew nothing about this man. She pulled the covers up higher. She had visions of her nude body laid out on an exam room table as this doctor, this very, sexy doctor, checked her over.
He assured her with a smile. "You've been out for about an hour. I didn’t feel comfortable leaving you alone. Are you having any other symptoms?” He asked, glancing at his phone again. “Nausea?"
She shook her head. Other than the headache, which was already subsiding, she felt perfectly fine.
"Good, I'm going to bring you something to eat. Then I can take you wherever you need to go,” he offered.
She squirmed under his gaze. "I'm fine, really. If you could just take me back to Fetishes."
"Not tonight," he said, firmly. “I’ll take you home, maybe a friend’s place? But you aren’t going back to the club.”
"But, the auction," she protested.
"Sorry, you aren't going to be participating in that this weekend."
Tears pricked the backs of her eyes, "You don't understand. I need to be there."
He shook his head, "I wouldn’t advise you to do anything tonight, and I am also under the impression you may have lied on your application." He arched an eyebrow at her as he fired his last missive.
Her eyes welled with tears. "Did you tell Master Martin?"
"I did, and let me say he isn't too pleased that someone tried to slip one past him. You're better off here for the time being. He wouldn't let you enter the auction now anyway."
She bit her lip when it began to quiver, but she couldn't stop the tears from falling faster and faster. The auction had been her last hope, Matty was depending on her.
"Hey," Tom said as he caught her chin, swiping at her tears with the pad of his thumb. "It's not all bad. And if I tell Martin, er, Master Martin, that you've already been dealt with, he might let you back into Fetishes without any further punishment." He smiled at the end of his sentence as if that was supposed to relieve her.
What did he mean, she would be dealt with? Further punishment? Who the hell were these people? Serena said this would be quick and easy cash. She knew it was a charity auction, but the people participating in it got to keep a percentage of the profits. She needed five thousand dollars. That was an insane amount to someone like her, but it was a drop in the bucket for most of the men who attended Fetishes. Probably nothing to Dr. Richie Rich too, she noted as she glanced around again.
"I can call you a cab if you prefer. I realize you might not want a strange man driving you home.”
She smiled in response. He really was very sweet. And attractive too. She guessed he was in his mid to late thirties. His dark hair was graying around the temples, giving him a distinguished look. When she looked closer at his eyes, she thought he looked tired. The crystal blue depths ran deep, a kindness hinting at them, but there was also sadness within them. She had the urge to ask him what was weighing on him but then remembered her predicament. She needed to get back to that club.
"A cab would be good," she murmured. She had some emergency cash in her purse, it would be worth it if she could still make it in time for the auction.
Tom's gaze lingered on hers and he seemed about to say something, but he turned away. She took in his muscular arms as he fished in his pocket for his phone. He had lost the white doctor's coat and had rolled up the sleeves on his dress shirt. He looked positively delicious. Licking her lips, she suddenly wondered what she looked like. She needed to clean up, and fast if she was going to make it back in time.
Pushing herself from the bed, she tested out her legs. Slightly wobbly, but she couldn't be sure if that was from the fainting spell or from the suffocating presence of the man a few feet away.
"Easy," Tom said, as he slipped his phone back in his pocket.
"Where are my clothes?" she asked.
"I have your stuff in my car. I'll go get them for you." He pointed out a door. "The bathroom's through there."
She was grateful for the respite. She found it hard to think in his presence. Making it to the bathroom she glanced at herself in the mirror. Not too bad, most of her makeup was still on, she would just have to touch up her eyes. There was a soft knock on the door and she cracked it open to find Tom with her purse, shoes, and dress. She had brought an overnight bag to the club, but she guessed it got left behind in the shuffle. Hopefully, it was where she left it.
"The cab will be here in ten minutes. You can wear those home if you're more comfortable." He nodded in the direction of the clothes she still wore.
"I couldn't impose. It's fine, my apartment isn't too far from Fetishes. I'll put the dress back on." She met his eyes but dropped her gaze quickly when she felt like he saw right through her lie. What was with this guy?
"I'll give you your privacy then," he said and shut the door between them.
She blew out a breath. Just a minor hitch in the plan, but she could do this.