Read an Excerpt
"Are you going to Victor's party this weekend, Denise?" Sarah asked her boss.
"What party?" Denise Walden looked up from her stack of paperwork she had yet to complete.
"You mean you don't know? Oh! I shouldn't have said anything, I am sorry."
"Don't be sorry. How would you know he didn't invite me?"
Sarah flushed. "I just assumed. I mean you're so dominant--I mean, you and he have always seemed to get along so well and most of the other special agents are going, but they have been his friends for years."
"He invited everyone but me?" Denise sounded incredulous.
"Well, the single ones, at least--he probably just thought--you know his parties are special--he may think you don't want to come."
"Oh, no offense--it's just you're so vanilla--"
"Vanilla? Just what is that supposed to mean?" Denise's voice had a dangerous edge to it.
"Yeah, and he's so--I'm just putting my foot in my mouth now aren't I? Look--I'm really sorry, but there is nothing I can do to change things. I'm going to go now before I make things worse. Bye."
Denise was busy in her office when Victor came in to see her. Her heart skipped a beat as she met his eyes. They had become close over the last two months she had worked for this satellite office. She had worked hard and made a lot of progress on several cases. She had made several new contacts and informants. But this wasn't just about her doing her job. She had come to think of him as a friend and not just a boss.
He closed the door behind him, giving them privacy. Which she didn't mind, but she didn't ask for either. It just proved how he was used to taking charge andbeing in control of his environment.
Not being invited to his party should not have bothered her, but it did. She thought they were friends.
Evidently he didn't feel the same way.
It just felt so high school to be "outed" like this. Denise jutted out her chin, and prepared to dig in her heels. If he could act juvenile, then so could she.
"You wanted to see me, Denise?" His voice sounded so smug, so superior. She wanted to wipe that expression off his face. He took a casual stance, with one hand in his grey dress pants. His brown eyes sparkled at her merrily. He could have been a model in that business suit. Damn him for being so good looking. It messed with her in ways it shouldn't. He was her boss.
Denise tried to phrase her words in her mind before she spoke. If he knew why she called him here to talk would he be any less happy? "It's not really important, but I heard you are having a party?"
"Yes." He didn't deny it.
Denise frowned at him. She was used to be able to intimidate men easily, and nothing seemed to crack this façade of his. He didn't look the least bit uncomfortable for her having brought up the party. Certainly he realized he didn't invite her? "Yes, well the only reason I am bringing it up is because if it happened to anyone else they may have felt uncomfortable being left out."
"Is this about you? Are you feeling left out, Denise?"
"Yes--and--no. What I mean is if you did this to anyone else I would have to say something, because by leaving that one person out, it would make them feel ostracized. Personally, I have been hardened enough to not care, but to someone else it could really hurt their feelings." Denise's eyes caught on the off white card that he slipped out of his pocket. "I didn't ask to speak with you to force an invitation. I just wanted to help make you a little more aware of other people."
"Are you finished?"
"Who told you about this party?"
"It doesn't matter."
"It actually does matter, but since you won't tell me, I will figure it out on my own. Did they tell you what goes on at my parties?"
"All she said was it was the special kind." But her legal assistant Sarah did seem to like remembering the party. That was before she became uncomfortable from having brought attention to Denise's lack of an invitation.
"She?" he repeated, smiling at her. She winced at her disclosure. She had not meant to give out too much information. And she probably just narrowed his suspects down by half. Well, in this office, it was over half. More like down to three people.
He walked the invitation over to her and laid it on her desk. "My parties are very special. I just didn't think you were into that lifestyle, Denise."
He was regarding her with a wary expression, scrutinizing her reaction. She noted his set face, his clamped mouth and fixed eyes.
"What kind of lifestyle? Is this one of those swinger parties? A kinky sex party?" As she asked that question, she became aware of another kind of excitement overcome her body.
The corners of his mouth twitched in response. "You might call it kinky. It's where people can be free to express themselves and doms and subs can hook up and pleasure each other. It is not always about the sex, either."
"Doms?" she questioned, searching her mind for what the word meant, what it could be an abbreviation for. It sounded foreign and nothing clicked in her mind at the word. So her expression remained blank.
"Dominant," he answered her, letting her put the clues together. At the exact moment she registered what he was talking about, she blushed furiously, her face turned scarlet. He enjoyed watching her expression change to surprise as she registered what he was talking about.
"Oh ... You mean like giving pain?" She never did have a good poker face. She could feel the heat in her cheeks at the thought.
"Pain can heighten pleasure."
"Oh my..." Her voice drifted off key at the end. She felt an erotic thrill sweep over her body, at the way he said that. His eyes locked with hers, and his words stuck in her mind. As if he was not just answering her question, but giving her a personal invitation to play.