Read an Excerpt
“Oh, you’re a human.”
The elegant, mature hostess who introduced herself as Madame Chabert eyed her with sheer curiosity. Isabelle Beaumont stiffened, feeling uncomfortable from being scrutinised like a rare artefact by some nosy curator. And what the hell did she mean by ‘you’re a human’? Of course she was a human. Who did Chabert think she was?
The hostess chortled when she saw the expression on her face. Her mellifluous voice echoed through the deserted lobby of . “No need to frown. I’m just surprised you’ve made it here at all.”
“I’ve been here before.” Belle shifted from foot to foot while anxiety knifed her gut-deep. “A few months ago. But everything looks different now.”
“Oh?” Madame Chabert’s expression changed as if she’d just realised something. “I forgot tonight is a waning moon. But I still can’t figure out how you were able to walk past the barrier.”
Waning moon? Barrier? Belle shook her head. “I’m afraid I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“Never mind, dearie.” Madame Chabert dismissed her lightly. “It’s fate that you’re here. Now, what can I do for you?” She motioned Belle to follow her into a private sitting area.
Belle sat on one of the fancy chairs, studying her surroundings. Mason Plaisir had gone through some drastic changes. The last time her best friend Lisa had dragged her here, this lobby looked like something that came from The Matrix movie set. Chromed walls plastered everywhere. LCD screens with flashing binary codes had graced every available space while deafening industrial music pounded from the speakers.
At that time, Belle had only stayed in the lobby for a few minutes before she’d decided to ditch Lisa. Belle had thought they were going to a nightclub or something, and she certainly hadn’t thought would turn out to be a sex club. Actually, it was more than just a sex club. was the best-kept secret S&M club in town, hosting the most beautiful and talented pro dommes and doms. At least, that was what Lisa had told her. Belle didn’t stick around long enough to find out if the rumours were true. The moment she found out what was all about Belle had chickened out and ran.
It felt like irony that months later she’d decided to come back here. She was desperate. She needed to rent a date and was the only risqué establishment she knew. She was green in the naughty department and couldn’t gather her courage to call a local escort agency. Especially when her situation demanded secrecy. If her date couldn’t keep his mouth shut, the charade she was about to perpetrate would doom her to a lifetime of hell.
Belle examined her surroundings with wonder. From the fancy wallpapers and painted ceilings, to the elaborate woodworks and trims that festooned all the walls, resembled a museum rather than an S&M club. Even the hostess herself looked like somebody from the cast of Pride and Prejudice. Madame Chabert was dressed in a black silk ruffle shirt adorned with a big ruby cameo on her neck. Her black hair was swept upward in a tight bun. Her tight bodice accentuated her impressive hourglass figure and her long skirt swept the floor when she walked. Elegant. Refined. Classy. Belle remembered ’s last hostess wore a red latex catsuit and five-inch stilettos.
Madame Chabert settled herself in a wingback chair across from the coffee table. “What do you wish for pleasure tonight, Miss…?”
“Isabelle Beaumont. I need a date. Probably for several weeks. I heard you can help me with that kind of service.”
Chabert’s eyebrows shot up. “A semi-permanent engagement. That can certainly be arranged. What is your preference?”
“A man, of course.” Belle said it a little too quickly. A nervous laugh followed. “I don’t really care about the overall appearance. Actually, I need a fake boyfriend. Someone I can show to my family for a few weeks to get them off my back.”
“I see.” Madame Chabert didn’t look surprised that Belle wasn’t looking for a whipping master. “We can arrange that as well.”
“How much do you charge for that?”
“Now, now, dearie.” Chabert twirled a finger. “Since you’re interested in a long-term engagement, you should discuss the payment directly with your choice of associate. We’re only facilitating the match-making in this matter.”