“You want us to work for you?”
“Why are you repeating everything I just said? Yes, I’d like to hire Harlow Security. We’ve had some, er, incidents lately and I need to protect my investment.”
Jacob “Flash” Franklin and his boss, Helen Harlow, sat across from Finnegan, the enigmatic owner of a sex club, Edge. Finn was so mysterious, he didn’t even have a last name.
Of course, the prick has one, he’s just tight-lipped about it.
Harlow had asked the question, but Flash was having trouble believing it, too. However, they weren’t really in a position to be picky.
Not after my fuck up, anyway.
Jobs had been few and far between for weeks. Harlow Security had barely been able to make ends meet. Flash absently twirled the quarter ring on his finger, the one Amy had made for him, it was the only thing he had left of her.
Harlow blinked. “You mean, you need to protect your clientele.”
Finn yawned. “Sure.”
Harlow gave Flash a look, before turning back to Finn. “We’re just havin’ trouble digestin’ it. Can I ask what prompted you to call us?”
“A mutual friend of ours, Storm, recommended your firm.” He smirked. “Actually, the term friend is a bit too strong. He’s an acquaintance, a rather unpleasant one.”
Flash couldn’t quite place Finn’s accent, but he detected a hint of a British inflection in his words. And he recognized the nickname. Storm and Harlow trained together at The Farm. He worked at another security firm in the area.
She was a former CIA agent attached to Flash’s Navy SEAL team to identify targets. After his sister’s death, he’d been ready for a change, so Flash had accepted her offer to join the team.
“Are you sure?” Flash asked. “Especially after the incident.” It had made national headlines.
Finn’s expression was grave. “Yes, I’ve seen the news, but I’m a big believer in second chances.” He ran a hand down the line of his elegant three-piece suit.
Damn. The man dressed even better than True, which was really sayin’ something.
“Well, thank you,” Harlow said quietly.
“And despite appearances, I’m not perfect.”
Flash didn’t like Finn. He was arrogant, irritating, charming at times, and handsome. He had a feeling the charisma was all for show. Flash sensed this man’s allegiances could shift in an instant. As long as they were on the same side, he had nothing to worry about.
The second they were at odds; all bets would be off.
And he really didn’t like the way Finn was looking at Harlow. The man was practically eye-fucking her. But they literally couldn’t afford to pass up this opportunity.
Besides, Harlow was objectively hot. They had a close friendship, so Flash didn’t really think of her that way, but he’d have to be blind not to notice. She was a tall, statuesque blonde with blue eyes and a touch-me-not vibe.
“Thank you for givin’ us a shot.” Flash couldn’t stand to see his brothers and sisters in arms pay for his actions. He’d tried to resign, but Harlow wouldn’t hear of it.
“Besides, you’re in no position to negotiate, so you’re gonna knock twenty percent off your usual fee.”
Flash expected Harlow to argue, but she didn’t.
Instead, she narrowed her eyes. “We’ll consider your offer. Let’s talk duties first.”
Apparently, Harlow Security was a bargain basement firm now. Thanks to me.
Flash scoped out the office while they hashed out the business aspects. It was plush—with thick black carpet, a leather couch, and a massive walnut desk. Finn clearly liked to surround himself with luxury and comfort.
Dum Vivimus Vivamus.
There was a framed picture featuring the phrase on the wall. His high school Latin was rusty, but Flash thought it translated to while we live, let us live. The Latin phrase was practically a hedonistic mission statement and it definitely suited Finn. Flash didn’t know the man well, but he made a distinct impression. A bad one.
“How long will you need security?” Flash asked, tuning in once again since they’d dealt with all the logistics.
“Indefinitely.” Finn rubbed his jaw.
Well, at least they were getting a long-term gig out of this. He wasn’t looking forward to selling his shit on Craigslist or donating plasma to pay the bills.
Finn rubbed his hands together. “Excellent, since we’ve dispensed with the business aspect of this conversation, we can get down to more interesting matters. Tell me, Helen, are you seeing anyone at the moment?”
“I prefer to be called Harlow,” she said coolly.
“Nonsense. We’re going to be on a first name basis.”
“Speaking of, what is your last name?” Flash asked.
Finn smiled. “Perhaps I’ll tell you one day.”
“I’m not sure where this conversation is headed, but just to be crystal clear,” Harlow said. “I don’t mix business with pleasure.”
Finn raised a brow. “Funnily enough, pleasure is my business. I must say, you’re very attractive—strong, yet feminine.”
“Hmm, complimentary, yet sexist.”
Flash coughed to smother a laugh. Finn, to his credit, just beamed at her, delighted with her comeback.
“I meant no insult. I find you intriguing.”
“Trust me, honey, you and me…? It ain’t happenin’. Ever.”
Finn lifted a shoulder. “I concede. We’ll have a purely professional relationship.” He glanced at Flash, and his perusal was almost predatory.
Is he tryin’ to start somethin’ with me? Because I’m in no mood to play nice.
He’d been spoiling for a fight for weeks. Punching this guy might be the cure for what ails me. Flash wanted to beat the tar out of somebody else if only to have a target for all this rage and pain.
Is that what you really want? Or do you need somebody to punish you…?
The thought made him gasp. Where the fuck did that come from?
“And what about you?” Finn prompted.
Flash squinted. “I don’t follow.”
Finn leaned forward.
And then he got it.
“Oh? Are you hittin’ on me? Because…”
“You’re not gay?” Finn leered. “Neither am I. I’m bisexual and it was only a question.”
“Sorry, I’m not interested.”
“I’m truly taken with your supervisor, but you might’ve been a nice bonus.” The man shrugged, as though it didn’t matter. “But I guess I’ll settle for a productive partnership.” Finn held his hand out to Harlow.
“I’m never sleepin’ with you. Ever.” Harlow stared at his fingers as if they were spiders.
Finn rolled his eyes. “Check. One job offer and no sex.”
Weird. Finn seemed enchanted by her refusal, rather than upset. Maybe he liked a challenge?
Regardless, if Finn made a move on Harlow again, Flash would take care of it.
Harlow could kick ass and take names, but he’d still put the hurt on anybody who didn’t respect her boundaries. Flash didn’t like when men acted like assholes with women. Pushy dickheads gave all men a terrible reputation.
Finn turned to Harlow. “Shake on it?”
Harlow grasped Finn’s hand.
And just like that, they were in business.
Hmph. Maybe we should change the firm’s name to Kinky Security?
“What is it? What do you need?” Sage McQueen asked.
“Please, I need to come.”
Sam Danielson wasn’t lying. He really did. His prick was standing at attention, red and purple, swollen, reaching, straining skyward.
Sage could practically feel the veins pulsing with his need. He’d been on her table for nearly an hour, and she’d never even touched his poor cock. It was small, barely four inches. Sam enjoyed a little erotic humiliation, and she’d teased him about the size.
A good tie and tease was her specialty.
It was such a mind fuck. Her client was immobilized, powerless, while she moved about the room freely. Usually, he looked up at her like she was Cleopatra and Venus all rolled up into one person.
Sam was no exception. He’d been her submissive for almost three years. He was a bit over five and a half feet with blond hair, blue eyes, and a charming grin. When they’d first met to discuss boundaries, rules, and his kinks, she’d instantly taken a shine to him. Sage was extremely selective and turned down most men, especially since she had a schedule filled with regulars.
She raised a brow. “Do you think you’ve earned it?”
Her profession had very strict rules. There was a fine line between being a dominatrix and an escort. Penetrating him with an object was considered a sex act if she did, and therefore prostitution. Ordering Sam to plug his own butt, however, was not. She was also forbidden to touch his cock or balls.
As if I would.
Sage got paid to work guys up and leave them wanting more. Sometimes, she ignored his requests and sent him home aching and needy. And he paid her for the privilege of being denied. All in all, it was a sweet deal and a real rush.
Tonight, however, she was feeling generous.
“You’ve been so obedient tonight.”
“Yes, I have.” His words were slightly slurred. Sam was floating, drunk on a haze of submission and denied desire.
She idly tapped her boot with a riding crop, as if pondering the question. “Why not? You have my permission to bring yourself off.”
“Thank you, Mistress.” As soon as she released the scarves around his wrists, he greedily grasped his cock with one hand and stroked. He didn’t last long either, a few short pumps, and he spilled himself all over his hands and thighs.
Afterward, he slumped back on the faux leather chaise, shuddering and utterly spent.
“Clean yourself up, and my furniture, too.” She tossed him some wet wipes. They came in handy and she bought them in bulk. At first, she’d wanted sensual fabrics, but satin and suede weren’t practical, given the circumstances.
This was, after all, a business. Sage was a pro.
“Anything else you want to say to me?”
“You’re forgetting something.”
“Very good.” She beamed at him. Such an obedient a little sub. “Will I see you next week?”
Sam swung his legs over the side and started pulling his clothes on. “No, I’m going out of town on business. The week after though?”
“I’ll mark it on my calendar.”
After he cleaned up, dressed, and left, Sage gathered her phone, tablet, and other essentials, and placed them in her oversized red leather tote. This was her last session of the evening, and she was ready to go. Sage had gotten to work around noon. There were a surprising number of businessmen who like to have an afternoon session, instead of going to lunch.
Now, it was nearly three in the morning and the club had largely cleared out.
Before heading out, she changed into her street clothes. Sage had a large collection of leather pants and skirts, along with corsets and bustiers. She didn’t wear them to and from work, for obvious reasons. Discretion and boundaries were very important to Sage.
A text message came through. Leaving work? Drive safe.
She shivered involuntarily. It felt like someone spilled cold water down the back of her shirt. It was an unknown number and she stared at the message, before deleting it.
Sage had a stalker. He’d been sending her texts, leaving notes, and other little “gifts” for her. She had an idea who it could be, which scared her even more. So far, he’d never approached her in person, but her luck was bound to run out.
Not tonight. You can worry about this tomorrow. And she would. Sage was starting to take this seriously.
Squaring her shoulders, Sage gathered her bag, shut off the lights, locked her office door, and headed down the hallway. The sex club she rented workspace in, Edge, was located in a nondescript building in the middle of town. Outside, it resembled a warehouse.
Inside, it was a little den of iniquity.
A lot of sexually-oriented business rented out space in the club like sex toy makers, fetish gear outfitters, and professional dominants like herself. There were a handful of submissives too.
She fell into step beside Bart Goldsmith, who also worked as a professional top at the club.
“How’d you do tonight?” he asked, running a hand through his blue-black hair.
Bart had brown eyes, with olive toned skin. He had an athletic build and stood a couple of inches over six feet tall.
Unlike Sage, he wore his play clothes on the street. Tonight, he rocked a pair of thigh-hugging leather pants and a tight red t-shirt emblazoned with a snake to showcase his muscles.
Bart had a thing for snakes. He even kept a boa constrictor as a pet. It was almost a fetish. And decidedly phallic.
“Very well. You?”
“I can’t complain. The ladies love me.”
Sage rolled her eyes. Bart thought he was God’s gift to men and women.
Fifty Shades of Grey had done wonders for his business. Before the books had come out, he’d had a largely male clientele, but now he had quite a few female subs. Bart was bisexual, so the arrangement worked out well for him.
Sage had two women on her roster, although she was straight. Since she wasn’t having sex with them, sexual attraction wasn’t an issue. She actually found the change of pace soothing.
But Sage didn’t like Bart so much, so she didn’t want to prolong this exchange.
Instead, Sage picked up the pace. “Well, I’m running late, so—”
He speeded up, too. “Admit it. You want me to walk you out to the parking lot.”
“I appreciate the concern, but I can take care of myself.”
“I know you can. You’re a big bad domme.” He placed a hand on his chest dramatically. “However, I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if something happened to you.”
Somehow, she doubted it, but Sage didn’t have enough energy to argue. Right now, she wanted to eat something, take a hot shower, and crash.
“You’re not gonna let this go, huh?”
“Then lead the way, sir.”
He groaned. “Oh, I like it when you call me sir.”
She bit the inside of her cheek. It had been an involuntary slip of the tongue. He’d been bugging her for months to submit to him. Bart had even offered her a free session.
“Don’t get used to it.” Sage felt like punching him, right in the kisser.
Ugh. Maybe I should go for a run when I get home and get rid of this aggression. She usually took a couple of trips around the block at home, to stay in shape and clear her head.
“Hmmm, that’s what I like about you. Your fire. I enjoy a submissive slut as much as the next man, but sometimes I crave a girl who puts up a fight and needs to be bent to my will.”
“Drop it, Bart. I’m not interested. You can spare me the hard sell.”
“Oh, it’s hard alright.” Bart leered.
“Ain’t you payin’ attention? The lady said she ain’t interested.” Alex Michaels joined them, stepping between Bart and Sage. “Take a hint.”
Unlike Sage and Bart, Alex was a professional submissive. For the most part, men paid to dominate him, but he had the occasional female client as well.
Bart’s lips thinned. “It’s none of your damn business.”
“Oh, fuck off.” Alex lit a menthol cigarette.
He was dressed in a black muscle shirt and tight jeans which outlined his cute butt. He had honey blond hair and almost sad brown eyes. Alex was an inch or two shorter than Bart with a rugged build. He looked more like an alpha than a sub, but he liked being bossed around in bed.
“Maybe later.” Bart waggled his brows.
Alex blew a stream of smoke. “You’re too tired to do me justice.”
Occasionally, Bart dominated Alex and they screwed around. From what she understood, it was strictly casual.
Sage believed in boundaries between the personal and professional. She’d never sleep with a co-worker or dominate one for that matter. At one time, she’d used the makeshift dungeon in her basement and it had been nerve-wracking. She loved using Edge to meet clients because it afforded her more privacy.
But a lot of the people she worked with were hedonistic. They defied traditional relationships and social mores. Sometimes, she envied their willingness to go with the flow. The truth was, Sage still had a lot of hang-ups.
“I could do both of you tonight, if you’re up to it.”
Alex squinted at Bart and then looked at Sage, rolling his eyes.
“Sage?” Bart asked, ignoring Alex. “You didn’t reply.”
“I don’t recall you asking me anything. You told me something, and I chose not to comment.”
“Don’t be difficult.” Bart pursed his lips.
“But I am difficult, and I will never, ever submit to you.” Or anyone else, for that matter. Sage scowled at Bart and looped arms with Alex.
She considered him a friend. They usually took their dinner breaks together, along with Vera.
“You tell ‘em, honey.”
Bart smirked. “Eventually, you’re gonna change your mind. Admit it, you’re curious.”
No, I’m really not.
She preferred to be in charge. Letting someone else run roughshod over her wasn’t in the least bit sexy. It was scary.
Her stepfather had been overbearing, possessive. And Sage had sworn a long time ago, a man would never own her. She steered clear of alpha male types.
Bart continued on, as if she hadn’t even spoken. “I’d even make you come. I know it’s against the rules, but we can bend them a little, just one time. And if you go home with me, I’ll make you come again and again, until you pass out.”
“No means no, Bart.”
Bart stepped into her path, blocking Sage’s way.
Okay, I’m done being nice.
“If you don’t get the fuck away from me, I’m going to slap you. Hard.”
“Careful, honey, he enjoys that kind of thing,” Alex warned her. “A little tussle gets him hard.”
It hadn’t been a joke or an idle threat. Or foreplay.
“Move. Or I’m gonna leave my palm print on your face.”
“Damn.” Bart’s eyes turned to smoke.
What the flaming hell? Why is he playing a game of cat and mouse with another cat?
She was about to shove past Bart and make a beeline for her red Fiat, when he made a noise in the back of his throat, turning to study her car.
“Hmm, I’m jealous.”
“It looks like you have another admirer.”
And then she noticed the sunflowers, wrapped in tissue paper on the hood of her car. They were her favorite.
But no one should know her preference.
Sometimes Sage’s clients wanted to spoil her with a gift, which she loved, but she didn’t want personal items from them like chocolates, perfume, or flowers. Those items were reserved for a man she was dating. It was too personal. Instead, she asked for gift cards to stores she liked. Or lingerie, AKA work clothes.
“You look disturbed. Is everything okay?” Alex asked.
Upon closer inspection, the tissue paper was torn, dirty around the edges. And the sunflowers were dying, wilting. This seemed like less of a gift, and more of a threat.
Like the text message. It had been solicitous, but there was an implied threat.
I know where you work and what you like. And I’m going to give it to you, in the worst way possible.
She smoothed her features, pasting on a professional mask. “Yes, of course. They’re from a friend of mine.”
“Which friend?” Alex asked, narrowing his eyes.
Clearly, he could tell she was lying.
“A friend, huh?” Bart folded his arms over his massive chest. “Do tell.”
“I wish I could, but I have to get home. I have an early appointment tomorrow.” She snatched the flowers up, unlocked her car, and tossed them on the backseat, before she took off down the road, tires squealing.
Ignoring her stalker was no longer an option.
Sage had to confront him. Now.***
“Is Finn here?”
The next afternoon, Butch stood outside Finn’s office, blocking Sage’s way.
Butch Walker was a big brute of a guy, six and a half feet tall, tattooed, muscled, with a thick neck, and a bad attitude. And he had quite a leather fetish—shoes, vests, pants, even down to the straps around his wrists. Sage would be willing to bet he wore a leather thong, too.
Ugh. The imagery.
“The boss is busy.”
“What’s he doing?” Wait. Do I wanna know? Nah.
When it came to hedonism, Finn put both Alex and Bart to shame. She might very well be walking into an orgy.
Butch shrugged. “Didn’t ask.”
He was a man of few words.
Enough of this.
She reached around Butch to knock on the door, but Vera James stepped into her path.
“I know you didn’t just try to cut in front of me.”
Sage hadn’t even seen Vera coming. “You’re wanting to see him too?”
“Been waitin’ ten minutes.”
Vera was a tall, brunette with warm hazel eyes. She was a switch, a rare person who could dominate somebody one minute and submit the next. According to her, it usually came down to chemistry with her partner.
Vera loved the color red and she wore it well. She was dressed in a red suit, but the jacket was unbuttoned, along with her shirt, exposing a black bra. The skirt barely fit over her ass, revealing lacy thigh highs.
“He’s probably fuckin’ somebody.” Vera studied her nails. They were a rich deep crimson “You know, Finn likes to take his time.”
“Hold up. You’ve never had the pleasure?”
“Sweetie, you should march right on in there and kick the tires.”
Butch leaned against the wall with a lazy grin, not even bothering to hide his eavesdropping.
Vera rolled her eyes. “Don’t be such a prude.”
“I’m not. I have a little something called boundaries.”
“It’s probably for the best.” Vera shrugged. “Don’t get me wrong, Finn’s a carnival ride, and I enjoyed myself. But once you’ve been on the big roller coaster, is there any reason to go back?”
Hmm. She has a point. My job isn’t like other people’s.
And sometimes, Sage missed having normalcy. Every now and then she wondered what would’ve happened, if she’d taken a job at the District Attorney’s office and spent her days helping people in a very different way.
“Fuck me.” Vera glanced at her watch. “I’m runnin’ late for my next appointment.” She cupped her breasts, jiggling them, so they plumped up enticingly. “Tell Finn he can’t fuckin’ price gouge me. I ain’t payin’ a hundred more a month for rent.”
“Yeah, you’re gonna have to tell him yourself.”
Vera squawked like a chicken.
“I’m not scared, but your landlord dispute isn’t my business.”
“Whatever. I gotta run, sweetie. I got an ass to beat.” And then she strutted down the hallway.
Butch watched her walk away and licked his lips.
“So, you two ever fuck?” he growled.
“What the h—”
He raised a brow. “I picked up on a vibe.”
Ugh. I’ve had about all the fun I can stand.
Sage pounded on the door. “Finn, it’s Sage. Have you got a minute?”
“I said, he’s busy.” Butch scowled.
But the door swung open anyway. “Hello there, Sage. For you, darling, I have ten.”
With a saucy grin, she stepped inside and shut the door behind her.
“You look gorgeous as always. Sit your sweet self down.” Finn pointed to the chairs on the opposite side of the desk.
Finn was incredibly handsome. Sage couldn’t help but notice.
Of course, she’d never do anything with Finn. He’d come onto her when they first met. She’d turned him down, which he accepted gracefully, and it had never come up again.
His eyes were dark and deep. His mouth was full, with a slight pout. Finn’s angular face was dusted with just a little beard growth. His black hair was a wild tumble of waves which ended just above the jawline. His white button-down shirt was open, and his chest was bare except for a small line of crisp hair which disappeared beneath the waistband of his snug black trousers.
Finn was eating a peach. It had been cut into sections, and artfully arranged on a glass plate. The juice spilled down his chin and he caught it with his fingers, licking them clean. He seemed to be a sensual creature, who liked the best of everything.
Even watching him eat a piece of ripe fruit was erotic, for God’s sake. It was messy, juicy, and he enjoyed every second of it.
I bet he eats pussy like this.
Some men did their duty, others selfishly refused to pleasure a woman. Others live for it. Sage was betting Finn was the last kind.
“Want a bite?” He held up a slice, lips curving into a wicked smile. He might as well be the devil, offering her an apple.
Sage shook her head. “No, thanks.”
“Pity. You’re missing out.” He raised his brows. “So, what did you want to see me about?”
“Right.” She took in a deep breath. “One of my clients has been sending me gifts.”
He grinned. “Well done. Congratulations.”
Sage sighed. “No, you don’t understand. I want you to bar him from the club.”
“Excuse me, love? I don’t follow.”
“It’s getting creepy. Last night, I found flowers on my car.”
“That animal!” Finn snickered.
She gritted her teeth. He just didn’t get it.
“And the week before, he left a necklace in my mailbox at the club.”
“What kind of necklace?”
She scowled. “A cheap plastic thing and it said cunt.” Sage had thrown it in the trash. The word was charged, but it could be hot when it was used in the right context. Somehow, she didn’t think the necklace was meant to be sexy, dirty talk.
“Well, fuck him.”
“Any idea who it might be?”
“Yes, a few weeks back, a married client offered me an exclusive contract and I turned him down.”
“Oh, I see. And his wife…?”
“Doesn’t have a clue about his sexual predictions.”
Finn sighed. “I don’t know why people don’t embrace their sexuality. There’s no point in running from it.”
“If they did? We’d both be out of a job.”
“True.” He cocked his head to the side. “And it doesn’t bother you?”
“They pay me for a service, and it isn’t sex.” Most of her business came from married men. Since she didn’t have sexual contact with her subs, Sage was able to handle the implicit moral dilemmas.
Finn smirked. “I hope not, or I’d be arrested. Hmm. So, you’d be his mistress and his mistress?”
“Yup, which sounds complicated. So, I let him down easy.”
“I see. And he didn’t take it too well?”
“No, not exactly. I can’t be sure it’s him, but Michael’s behavior got out of hand. He was possessive, a little obsessive. It started with offers to take me to coffee, or lunch. Then dinner, then romantic getaways. I didn’t accept any of his propositions. Now, he wants me to be his personal domme.”
He frowned. “Walk me through it.”
At least he was taking her seriously. Sometimes she got the impression Finn didn’t give a damn about anything or anyone, other than himself. And his own pleasure. He wasn’t a terrible person, by any means, but Finn could be a little self-centered.
She took a deep breath. “First, Michael came to see me once a month. Now, he has a weekly appointment and he keeps on saying I don’t have to work here if I don’t want to. He says he’ll take care of me.”
“And this bothers you?” He folded his hands on his lap.
“Yes, I’ll never let a man boss me around in any way.” The words came out with a ferocity that embarrassed her.
“I’m not a psychologist, darling, but who hurt you?”
Excellent question. Sage had been hurt and the pain lingered.
“I’d rather not discuss it, if it’s all the same to you.”
He nodded. “Fine, but my money is on Daddy.”
Still, she wouldn’t give him the satisfaction of confirming his hunch.
He waited her out.
And she leaned back in the chair, letting the silence stretch between them.
“You aren’t going to tell me, are you?”
She shook her head slowly from side to side with a smirk on her face.
“Always the dominatrix.”
She shrugged. “What can I say? It’s in my nature.”
“You didn’t ask for my advice, but perhaps you should report Michael to the police.”
“And destroy my professional reputation? No, thanks.” Sage’s clients relied on her discretion. No one wanted their kinky sex lives reported to the police.
Besides, the cops would probably be less than sympathetic. She’d had to call them once with a client who’d refused to leave her house after the session was over. They’d questioned Sage, thinking she was a prostitute. That very night, she’d started looking for office space to rent.
“Excellent point. You’re in a bit of a bind then. Has he done anything against the rules?”
Finn had a strict code of conduct at the club. Guests should feel free to enjoy themselves, but if they didn’t abide by the rules, they got booted. Unfortunately, Michael hadn’t broken any of them.
“This is about a pattern of behavior. When I refused his romantic overtures, he tried to buy me. So, can you refuse him service?”
“I’m sorry, darling, but I can’t help you. However, I hired a new security team. Why don’t you have them look into this guy? I’m sure they can be discrete.” Finn rummaged around in a drawer, pulled out a business card, and handed it to her.
HARLOW SECURITY. It was written in big, bold letters, along with a number and address.
“Thank you.” They could check Michael out, maybe scare him off. “I’ll give them a call tomorrow morning.” It sounded like the perfect solution.
“Excellent. And please keep me posted.”
“Now, if you don’t mind, I’d like to finish my lunch.” He popped another piece into his mouth.
With a sigh, she left the office and headed down the hall for her 3 o’clock with the banker.
At least she had someone to take her anger out on.
Consensually, of course.
Yup. It’s the first shift at the sex club. And I drew the short straw.
Flash had gotten the security firm into this mess, so it was only fitting he pulled the first kink duty. Everyone at the firm had been understanding, grateful for a new gig, which only made him feel worse.
No one had held him accountable for his fuck up.
By all rights, they should be pissed at him. For some damn reason, their compassion made him angry. The only one who’d told Flash off was True, but they didn’t like each other to begin with, so it didn’t really count.
And he’d never seen anything like Edge.
Sure, he’d been at the club during the light of day when they’d negotiated the contract, but he wasn’t prepared for the place at night. When the freaks came out.
The dance floor was a sea of leather and lace.
The scent of sweat and sex was thick in the air. Flash felt like his entire body was vibrating from the throbbing techno music. It made the hair on his arms stand up. At least he wasn’t alone protecting this place. There were bouncers at the door and stationed throughout the club as well. A couple of big dudes patrolled the balcony, and two more stood on either side of the dance floor.
Off to the side, there was a long winding hallway with a series of rooms. And, no surprise, the walls were red. Everything in this place is black, red, or white. Bracing himself for the onslaught, Flash walked the length of the corridor.
Grunting, moaning, and groaning came from behind the closed doors.
He swallowed. Jesus H. Christ. Who are these people?
He’d done all kinds of jobs—bounty hunting, bodyguarding, but babysitting perverts was a new one. Just then, one of the doors opened and a man dressed in a pinstriped blue suit stepped out.
Suity was probably in his mid-forties with a couple streaks of gray in his dark hair. His tie was halfway undone, hanging loosely around his neck. A couple of buttons were missing from his shirt. He ran a hand through his hair. His gaze was unfocused, and he swayed on his feet.
What the hell had happened to him in there?
And then the reason for his disheveled appearance walked out as well.
Flash stopped in his tracks. No wonder the guy is wrecked.
She wore a black pair of stiletto heels, thigh highs, a short leather mini skirt, which hugged her curvaceous ass. Her large breasts were barely covered by a red silk blouse, which was undone all the way down to her navel, exposing her black lacy bra.
Damn. She’s an innie.
“I’ll see you next week, Tom.” Her voice was low and throaty. Before Suity could respond, she grabbed him by the necktie, and tugged him down, so she could press a kiss to the corner of his mouth.
Flash knew he should complete his round, but he couldn’t take his eyes off her. It’s like he was mesmerized, feet rooted to the spot.
“Yes, ma’am, you will.” With a murmured farewell, Suity stumbled down the hallway.
And then she turned her gaze on him.
The siren had long, black hair, which cascaded around her slim shoulders, a crimson mouth, and she watched him with an arched brow. He couldn’t be sure, but Flash thought she might be silently laughing at him.
She was so magnetic, Flash hadn’t even realized he was standing there gaping at her, like a fool. He promptly closed his mouth and put on his customary stern, I’m a Navy SEAL expression.
The siren took him in, starting at the top of his head, and went all the way down to his boots. Her gaze missed nothing. Flash had never been so boldly assessed by a woman.
“You’re with the new security firm, aren’t you?”
“Do I look like a security guard?”
“Let’s see.” She squinted at him. “Your hair’s clipped short, no beard. You’re fit, muscled, with an air of authority. The clothing is neatly pressed, and I can see my face in your shoes, they’re so shiny.”
Flash was impressed. She read people very well.
“So, am I right?”
Flash didn’t have a submissive bone in his body. He’d like to blame his reply on southern manners, a lifetime of training in deportment and gentility had been drummed into his thick head, along with a healthy a respect for women in particular.
But that wasn’t why he’d called her ma’am. She demanded respect. Everything about her demeanor said bow down before me.
And fuck me if I don’t want to. Need to.