After the death of her Master, Caitlin Bennett discovers years of abuse and sadistic cruelty at his hands have made her a slave to pain. To reach her peak, Cait needs the type of extreme agony few responsible Doms are willing to dole out, especially Doms like Paul Nelson. Willing to offer the love she craves, Paul’s nearly perfect—except for his aversion to the whip.
Paul refuses to hurt Cait, instead attempting to recondition her through patience and trust. But the longer Cait suffers from lack of sexual release, the more she’s convinced her mind and body are irrevocably programmed. And time to convince her otherwise is running out. Waiting in the wings is a newbie Dom who’s determined to have Cait for his own…who’s learning the whip just for her.
Caitlin will soon have to choose—the man who can give her what she wants? Or the man who can give her what she needs?
Paul stood at the top of the stairs to the second floor of the club, captivated by the most beautiful girl he had ever seen. She looked young and fresh and innocent—and so darn mouthwatering.
He had been standing up on the second floor watching the patrons downstairs. It had been quite a while since he’d mingled with the masses. He wasn’t even sure why he kept coming to the club, considering he couldn’t even summon the enthusiasm to do the bump ’n’ grind out on the dance floor or watch the couples in the common area, let alone seek out some warm, willing sub to flog and to fuck.
He rubbed the back of his neck. He wasn’t sure when it had started, but for quite a while before his self-imposed dry spell, all the women he’d slept with had left him feeling cold. Sure, he could get off, and he could get them off, but it left him feeling empty, and even worse when it was over. Maybe he was just tired of the parade of jaded, hardened subs with their silicone boobs and porn-star moans. He needed something, but damn if he knew what it was.
Maybe what he needed came in the form of a five-foot-some little angel with alabaster skin, a veil of dark, silky hair and big, wide, ball-breakingly beautiful eyes?
From his vantage point, he’d spotted her as soon as she came in the door. She’d stood there for about five years, just watching. Looked like a fawn in the headlights—poor little thing—and he’d been instantly intrigued. Couldn’t remember the last time that had happened.
He knew the exact moment she’d seen the couples in the public area. He could almost feel the tension vibrating off her body from all the way up on the second floor. And when she stepped away from the door and started walking through the club, his dick had stiffened. Instantly. And then he couldn’t even remember his own name, let alone when that had last happened.
Hot damn, that swishy little skirt swayed and flipped around her thighs with every step. Tantalizing him, making him burn to tear it off to see what was underneath. And those gorgeous legs encased in fishnet stockings. He loved those darn things, and didn’t they look so much naughtier on this sweet little girl.
The bustier she wore was laced up the front nice and tight. It pushed up the creamy swells of her small breasts—real, honest-to-god breasts—to their full advantage. Man, that top just begged for unlacing to free those luscious mounds into his awaiting palms. Mouth. Tongue. Teeth. Mmmm hmmm.
So hard. Agonizingly hard. He palmed his erection through his pants.
She had walked through the club mesmerized, until she got right up to the partition separating the general crowd from the kinksters playing publicly for their own as well as the crowd’s enjoyment. Trixie must have told her not to stand up against the wall; it was a house rule, making sure everyone could get a good view of the proceedings. But there she stood, palm on the glass, totally oblivious to the rows of chairs behind her that were set up for observation.
He was spellbound, watching her, taking in her every reaction to what she was seeing. It was observing Ray’s aftercare of Sara that elicited the strongest response in her. She began trembling, her chest rising and falling rapidly, and it seemed as if she were struggling just to keep it together. She needed something—badly. He hoped to god and all the saints it was him. He started down the stairs. He had to get to her. Immediately.
In his haste to get to the little woman, Paul almost knocked over Ray as the guy was trying to get up the stairs with Sara in his arms. Paul mumbled an apology and stopped two steps down, letting the couple past. Before he could get going again, some newbie staff member chose that moment to do a little impromptu meet-and-greet and the chatty little bastard attempted to talk Paul’s ear off. And he offered his ear only, keeping his eyes firmly fixed on the woman.
Caitlin watched as the Dom carried his sub out of the room, all the while whispering to her. The sub was curled up with her head resting on his chest and a dreamy expression on her face. As they went upstairs to the private rooms—where no doubt he would make love to her, not just fuck her—they had to veer around someone coming down the other way.
That someone now stood near the top of the stairs, staring at Caitlin with such single-minded focus that a jolt of awareness ran through her, from her head to the tips of her toes.
Oh my, oh my, oh my.
He was like some kind of demigod standing up on high, surveying all that was his. And presently he was surveying Caitlin rather intensely with a deeply penetrating gaze. She felt another jolt, this time low in her belly.
Wow, that was new.
Caitlin had never had that kind of response before from just looking at a man. And he was a fair distance away. She could only imagine what she would feel if he got anywhere near her. Perhaps she would self-combust? Melt in a puddle at his feet? She wondered why she was responding this way—all pangs and contractions in her belly. Must be because she was so shaken by what she’d seen, watching the Dom and his sub. Maybe the small matter of not having had an orgasm since the beginning of time.
Perhaps it was the pepperoni pizza she ate for dinner.
Yes, it had to be that.
Although, looking at this guy, she decided he could probably make most women vibrate internally from fifty paces.
He was tall and broad-shouldered. His thick, slightly wavy hair was sandy blond and fell just to his shoulders, curling up a little at the ends. A face one would call ruggedly handsome—with its broad planes, chiseled cheekbones and strong, square jaw—was shadowed with sexy designer stubble, which just added to the whole rugged man vibe he was giving off. He looked like he spent time outdoors, sporting a lovely natural tan.
A gray turtleneck sweater clung to his frame, showcasing his broad chest and strong arms. His black dress trousers were of a looser style than most of the tight, black-leather variety worn by many of the other men in the club, but they didn’t hide the fact that underneath, he was powerfully built. He stood tall and strong and just radiated an aura of authority and command.
Big. Strong. Gorgeous. Pure alpha male.
He looked at Caitlin as if he knew what he wanted and he was going to take it. What he wanted being her. Caitlin got that feeling again, as if she were prey. Except there was something about his eyes—a hint of amusement, perhaps? She couldn’t quite put her finger on it. One corner of his mouth quirked up ever so slightly. But instead of looking cruel, like it had on Ivan, it looked almost like anticipation.
Well, Caitlin sure was anticipating.
She realized she’d been standing there with her mouth hanging opened, ogling a perfect stranger. Perfect being the operative word.
Geez, Cait, pull yourself together.
Caitlin felt herself blushing and turned her attention back to the Doms and subs in the common area.
The woman having her feet tortured was wriggling and squealing now. Funny, Caitlin hadn’t heard a thing while she’d been busy gawking at Mr. Good Vibrations on the stairs.
The young man being given electrostim treatment was begging his Domme to release him, to let him come. Poor guy. Caitlin could relate. Maybe the two of them could form a little club. They could call it W.O.B.I.N.A—Want Orgasm But I’m Not Allowed.
Caitlin felt a familiar churning in her gut when the guy started crying and begging nonstop, chanting over and over, “Please let me come, please let me come, please let me come.” Although it didn’t look as if he was coming anytime soon. Or going anywhere, for that matter, with that nasty-looking metal cock-and-ball cage contraption keeping him from even pointing his penis in the right direction.
Caitlin squeezed her eyes shut and blew out a breath; it was just too excruciating to watch.
She felt a finger slowly stroking along her shoulder and down her arm. She stiffened and sucked in a sharp breath. It was him. He had come to her.
Oh god, oh god, oh god, oh god.
Caitlin gulped and opened her eyes as she turned to face him.
“Oh!” she gasped in surprise and jumped back a fraction.
The man was staring at her—however, he wasn’t the one she’d been expecting.
Dante has been Erica’s savior since she was a child, protecting her from others, wiping her tears, making her feel worthy. Until, as the years passed, she began to feel something new…and a girl’s crush became a young woman’s unyielding passion. Though she ran away to Paris after Dante unknowingly broke her heart, even distance couldn’t quell Erica’s desire. Because she knows Dante well, knows what he’s capable of doing for a woman…and knows her submissive needs match Dante’s deep dominance perfectly.
Dante’s in trouble. For years he’s kept his burning ache for his best friend’s sister firmly in check. But now Erica’s back in the States, more gorgeous than ever. Worse, she wants to learn about BDSM—and she’s determined to have Dante as a teacher. He won’t let her near the club he co-owns with her brother—Chris would kill him—but he’ll “train” her at home. When he’s done, Erica will want nothing to do with the lifestyle. And hopefully her crush on Dante will be diminished…for both their sakes.
But Erica proves to be far more resilient that he’d ever dreamed, and Dante’s plan backfires in spectacular fashion, driving her straight into the clutches of someone far worse than another Dom. Someone dangerous, someone from his past…who’s going to make Erica pay for Dante’s sins.
The teenaged girl hiding above in the barn’s hayloft watched as the man she loved pulled the woman roughly into his arms. As he kissed the woman’s mouth, the girl struggled not to cry.
The man stripped the woman’s clothes off—all of them—strewing them like so much rubbish on the filthy barn floor. He turned her to face away from him, positioned her legs so they were wide apart, then pushed down on her shoulders. The woman bent over and grasped the low railing in front of her.
The man pulled off his T-shirt, revealing smooth olive skin ridged with muscle and a dark trail of hair that disappeared below the waistband of his jeans. He unbuckled his belt and pulled it free from the belt loops. The girl bit down on her bottom lip in anticipation of seeing him fully naked. But instead of shedding the rest of his clothes, as she expected, he doubled the belt over, lifted his arm back and brought the belt down onto the woman’s bottom with a loud thwack.
The young girl stifled a gasp. The woman did not.
The girl would have been shocked into stillness if she hadn’t already been rigid as a statue, determined to not divulge her presence to the couple below. She could hardly believe what she was witnessing. However, her growing bubble of righteous indignation burst in response to the sounds the woman began to make. With each subsequent slap of belt against flesh, the woman flinched, but then moaned as if she reveled in this treatment.
The girl stared transfixed in a haze of disbelief.
Disbelief that slowly morphed into hot, pulsing arousal.
The man brought his belt down over and over until the woman’s backside was reddened and the voyeur upstairs was aching and restless and needing.
He finally threw his belt to the ground and moved up behind the woman. He fondled her abused bottom cheeks. When he pinched her there, the woman squealed—a high-pitched, desperate sound. And then he was unfastening the fly of his jeans. Before the girl could get a glimpse of the part of him she was longing to see, he shoved it roughly into the woman, who immediately screamed and shuddered as she orgasmed helplessly.
The man clasped his hand over the woman’s mouth as he fucked her. He fucked her at first with slow, controlled strokes, and then harder and faster until he was pounding into her, almost lifting her off her feet. And if the woman was making any more noise behind that big hand, the voyeur upstairs didn’t know. All she could hear was the blood pounding in her own ears.
She wanted so badly to be there, in place of that woman. The fantasies conjured by her inexperienced mind, of being kissed softly and taken gently by the man, dissolved away in the face of the reality of him.
She wanted him this way, in a way she’d never before imagined, with him controlling her roughly with strong hands, holding her down, making her take what he wanted to give her, taking exactly what he wanted from her.
The harsh lines of pleasure on his face made her crave to be the one giving him that kind pleasure, giving him everything he wanted.
The ache deep inside her became so overwhelming and so unbearable, she cupped herself and pressed, hard. And while the man she’d loved forever bucked and cried out his release, the girl came quietly, her teeth clamped together, with tears pouring down her face. And her heart breaking into a million pieces.
Erica fidgeted in her seat…for about the hundredth time.
The passenger beside her huffed and gave her angry businessman side-eye. She ignored the man, her hands hovering over her belt buckle, willing the “fasten seat belt” sign to make that “ping” sound so she could get off the damn plane. And get to him.
In the five long years she’d lived in Paris, since she was eighteen years old, she hadn’t seen him.
Dante. Just the sound of his name in her own mind gave her shivers.
She wondered if she’d somehow romanticized him. Was he really so devastatingly handsome, so powerful and dangerously sexual? Would he look at her with that dark, intense gaze, the way he did in her fantasies as she lay in her bed, alone, burning and restless? Would that secret smile of his still make her heart race? Would he make her insides clench and her sex moisten when he spoke to her in his deep, velvet voice?
Would he have a beer belly and a receding hairline?
He was twenty-five the last time she’d laid eyes on him. But knowing Dante, at thirty he’d probably look even sexier than he had back then. Gorgeous, infuriating man.
By the time Erica got to the baggage collection area, she was just about crawling out of her skin with impatience. Her stomach churned. While waiting for her luggage to appear, she rubbed sweaty palms on the thighs of her jeans, realizing she hadn’t felt this nervous for a very long time. Maybe since the last time she’d seen Dante. She silently admonished herself. She was determined to behave in a cool, sophisticated manner—Parisian nonchalance at its best—not like some crazy, lovesick schoolgirl.
Trouble was, she felt a little crazy. And sick. And she was most definitely in love.
But Erica needed to get a grip. She was adamant that Dante finally regard her as something other than his best friend’s kid sister. She wanted him to see her as a woman.
And not just any woman, but hopefully the woman who could belong to him.
Dante leaned against a concrete pillar in the arrivals hall waiting for Erica. His eyes scanned the passengers as they streamed out of the exit door, until he caught a flash of red in his peripheral vision. His heart thumped faster. Then a large man moved out of Dante’s line of sight and there she was.
Madre di Dio, she was so fucking beautiful, Dante’s breath caught in his chest.
He knew many beautiful women, but Erica was unique. She was stunning, statuesque, earthy…raw. There was a kind of wildness inherent in her beauty. In his more fantastical imaginings, Dante pictured her standing barefoot in a forest, every inch of her milky skin and lush body bared, her flame-red hair whipping fiercely in the wind.
She was like a goddess of the Earth.
And just as untouchable.
Even with his sole focus on her, from the corner of his eye Dante noticed other men’s heads turning to look at her. It made him want to growl and bare his teeth at them like an animal. But he could see, as per usual, Erica was oblivious to the way she affected males of the species.
She was tall—six feet without shoes on—which put her close to eye level with Dante’s six foot three. Her frame was sturdy with broad shoulders and nicely muscled thighs. He could now see the worn-out, skin-hugging jeans encasing those gorgeous legs that just went on and on forever. Her auburn hair appeared red under the fluorescent lighting, but Dante knew once she was out in the sun, he would see the shimmery streaks of copper and gold.
He watched as she scanned the room, a deep furrow between her brows. He used to rub that spot with his thumb and tell her she’d get old lady wrinkles if she didn’t stop frowning.
She saw him then, and her face lit up, her mouth breaking into her almost-too-wide smile.
She broke into a run and before he knew what she was about, she launched herself at him, jumping right into his arms. He grabbed her under her ass while she encircled his neck with her arms and his waist with her legs—those long, strong legs he’d dreamed about having wrapped around him.
“Dante,” she breathed in his ear, “I’ve missed you so much.”
At the sound of his name on her lips in that honeyed, husky voice and her warm breath in his ear, a shiver racked his spine.
Dante didn’t speak. He couldn’t. His throat choked up with all the words he longed to say to her but never would. He held her tight instead, pressed his lips to her cheek, then buried his face in her hair and breathed deeply, inhaling her scent. She smelled of oranges, summer days and sunlight.
He reveled in the feeling of her wrapped around him; it felt so right to finally hold her this way. He wondered if it was his overactive imagination, but he could have sworn he felt the heat from her sex penetrating through their clothing, branding his skin.
The need to claim her clawed up from inside him like a wild beast that had been caged too long. Beads of perspiration broke out on his lip at the thought of pushing her up against the nearest concrete pillar and driving himself inside her. He ground his teeth and prayed for sanity.
They held on to each other for a long time, neither of them moving to break the connection. After this initial reunion, they wouldn’t hold each other like this again. This was his best friend’s little sister; she was off-limits to him. No matter how he burned for her, how much he wanted her to be his, she never could be.
Finally, with more than a little difficulty, he forced himself to loosen his grip on her. As she slid slowly down his body, lust kicked him so hard in his gut, he thought he would fall to his knees.
She gazed at him with those clear gray eyes that had always utterly fascinated him. Gray, slightly tinged with green, the iris ringed with a color so deep, it was almost as dark as the pupil at its center. He knew he shouldn’t do it, but it was as if his hand and brain spoke two different languages.
Brain: “Don’t do it. Don’t touch her.”
Hand: “I no speaka de English.”
He touched her.
He fingered a strand of her hair and then slowly tucked it behind her ear. Her breath puffed out on a sigh and her eyes fluttered closed momentarily. Dante closed his eyes for a moment too, envisioning how she would react if he really touched her. Touched her in the ways he’d been dreaming of for so many years.
He imagined that underneath Erica’s sassy tomboy exterior lived a passionately sexual woman who would be as fiery as the hue of her hair. If they came together it would be incendiary. They would burn the damn place down around their ears.
And if he tried to take control of that fire and passion—to quiet it sometimes, and stoke it to greater heights at others, based solely on his whims and his wants—would she fight him? He thought he might like it if she fought him a little.
Trixie Meier, a club submissive who’s tired of being pushed around, has decided she’d rather be on the other end of the whip. She’s set her sights on Xavier Adams—the most enigmatic and unapproachable man in the club. Xavier’s a regular Mr. Darcy. If Mr. Darcy was covered in tattoos, wore black leather, and was built like a Sherman tank.
Xavier has skeletons in his closet. He’s done bad, bad things. And though Trixie might be feisty, she’s way too sweet for the likes of him. That’s what he tells himself just before he starts stalking her.
When Xavier finds out Trixie doesn’t want to submit to him but wants to master him instead, he thinks it’s the most ridiculous thing he’s ever heard. Because a big, scary guy like him, submitting to that tiny crazy-ass woman is just ludicrous. Right?
“Conversing with Xavier Adams is as about as effective as talking to a brick wall. A sexy wall, that smells really good and makes you want to rub yourself up against in a completely inappropriate and pervy manner. Not that there are many ways to rub yourself against a wall that aren’t inappropriate and pervy.”
“Trixie Meier is a kind, generous soul. She helps people, is a vegetarian because she can’t stand the thought of animals being hurt, and she hugs puppies in her spare time. She’s as sweet as they come—way too good for a guy like me.”
“I love rock climbing, skydiving and anything that gives me an adrenaline rush. Now I want to dominate Xavier. Wonder if I’m taking this “I love a challenge” attitude a little too far.”
“Trixie wants to dominate me?
She’s the craziest bloody woman on the face of this earth!”
“Since you think you can fake orgasms and get away with it, little sub, we’re going to make you come so many times you’ll be begging for our mercy. Which of course,” he smiled evilly, “you won’t be getting.” There were smiles and snickers from the peanut gallery. “After this, you’ll think twice before you pull a stunt like that again.”
Trixie barely refrained from rolling her eyes. She wanted to tell him to go fuck himself. No, actually what she really wanted, if she was truly honest, was to remove the vibe from herself and slap it really hard across the side of his face. If it was a dildo—one of those flexible, bendy ones—even better. Trixie imagined the satisfying thwack it would make against his cheek. And the shock on his face. Along with some of her juices, and all that lube, dribbling down his chiseled jaw. A laugh huffed out of her and Viking’s gaze hardened.
“You think this is a joke?”
Trixie answered with a one-shouldered shrug, because how to explain her thoughts? Wanna slap you in the face with a big, wet, rubbery dong, Viking. Nah, he wouldn’t take that well.
Some of these Dom-types were just so precious.