Read an Excerpt
'Three-Way Tie' by Sierra Cartwright
"There are two of you?"
"Is that a problem?" Master Rafael asked, arching an expressive brow.
Lindsey Nolan stood on the porch of the magnificent Rocky Mountain home, looking up at the tall Dom. The hint of a Spanish accent, sexy and compelling, laced his voice, sending a shiver of anticipation through her.
He stood next to another man whom he had introduced as Master Eric. While Master Eric was slightly shorter than Master Rafael, both men were over six feet tall. Both had broad shoulders, narrow hips, powerful and oh-so-sexy thighs.
While Master Rafael was dark, with rakishly long hair and brown eyes she could drown in, Master Eric had sun-kissed blond hair that he wore short, cropped. His expressive blue eyes were warm and welcoming.
Could the two men be more different?
Intuitively Lindsey wanted to be dominated by Master Rafael, but she wanted to be held and comforted—perhaps made love to—by Master Eric.
"A problem?" she repeated. "No. I just have no idea what to do with two Doms."
"You’ll be told what to do," Master Rafael explained. "You’re just expected to obey."
She sucked in a breath.
"Come in, Lindsey."
For a moment she didn’t move. There was something overwhelming about standing here, eight hundred miles from her small-town central Texas home that made her forget everything she knew about decorum. From the moment she’d asked her cousin to take her shifts at the family’s diner and packed her bag, nothing had been the same.
Master Rafael silently regarded her. He’d told her on the telephone she wouldn’t be pushed into anything. The choices, all along, would be hers.
Even though her heart thundered, a few moments later she entered the foyer, dragging her small piece of luggage.
The house was constructed from warm-toned wooden beams. The entrance floor was slate and a Native American rug stretched across its length. This private place, on acres of land, was so different from her humble reality.
Again she wondered what she’d got herself into by travelling to Master Rafael’s home.
He reached above her head and flicked the door closed, sealing out the cool mountain air.
"We’ll talk in the great room," Master Rafael said. "I have your signed copy of the rules."
'Head Games' by Desiree Holt
"Good evening, Senor Valdez."
Kaci Ballard stood to one side as Oliver, the doorman at The Pyramid, greeted her Dom with the deference befitting a platinum member of the bondage club. His glance barely acknowledged Kaci, standing with her head bowed and her hands clasped in front of her in proper sub attitude.
"Good evening, Oliver." Diego signed the register then tapped Kaci on the shoulder. "Follow me."
She walked two paces behind him, their standard arrangement when they were in D/s mode. And tonight they definitely were. This was the third anniversary of their relationship, and after much preparation Diego was going to introduce her to a place she’d never been before—subspace. In the three years they’d been together, he’d taught her how to appreciate herself, both as a woman and a sub, subtly and carefully taking her up one level at a time in the intensity of their D/s play.
He’d introduced her to many other things since the night they’d met, right here at The Pyramid. It wasn’t long before she gave up her apartment and was living with him in his expensive high-rise. Her talent as a sculptor had evolved as her relationship with him had blossomed, almost symbolic of her stages of growth. He stood proudly at each of her shows, quietly praising her and enjoying her accolades.
But Kaci wished their relationship was a little more substantial. Not that she didn’t enjoy it, but somewhere along the way she’d lost her heart to Diego. She’d never felt like this about any other Dom and she had the panicky feeling she was setting herself up for a fall. That was one of the reasons she was willing to explore new areas of the D/s play. Something to show him her total commitment to him. And silently pray for his in return.
As she followed him into the club’s open lounge area, her mind flashed back to the night of their first anniversary when he’d taken her to a very exclusive restaurant for dinner.
Once they were seated in their booth he handed her a small package.
"A gift to celebrate," he told her.
She opened it and her eyes widened at the sight of the little silver bullet nestled in the tissue paper.
"Go into the ladies’ room and insert it into your cunt. Right now."
In other aspects of their life they were equal partners, but in D/s mode she was totally submissive to him so there was no question of whether or not she would obey. She returned to the booth smiling, the bullet securely inside her, he smiled.
"I thought I would make dinner tonight a little more interesting."
He reached into his pocket, and in a second the little bullet began to hum inside her. Kaci had to grab the table to hold herself steady.
She bit her lip. "Sir?"
'His Landlady' by Jan Irving
Diana Moore hesitated outside the kickboxing studio, her attention caught by a poster of the sleek body of a young male kickboxer, his leg straight up in a martial arts kick.
Although every muscle was warrior defined, it was the expression on his face that fixed her attention. He was gazing into the distance, a half smile touching his lips, a look of transcendent pleasure that didn’t make her think of the martial arts…
"Perv," she muttered to herself. She had better things to do than stand here lusting over a beautiful man who was probably too airbrushed to be true. She adjusted her grip on her attaché case and almost walked into another young man, this one short and covered with black-and-red tattoos.
"You here for class?" he demanded. "Come back in an hour." His street accent made the word ‘hour’ a match for ‘sour’.
Di gulped and stopped herself from taking a step back. The stranger had an aggressive energy that she could feel like a force field.
"No," she said. "I’m strictly a yoga person."
The man stared at her, unblinking, and Di felt as if she’d told a proud Doberman owner that she was the golden retriever type.
"We don’t do yoga here," he said, crossing his arms.
"No, I know that…" She was flustered and it was stupid. But the studio so wasn’t her thing. "I’m the landlady of this strip mall. I’m here with some paperwork for the owner."
"Huh." He didn’t look impressed.
"Nath, behave!" a mellow voice interrupted.
There was a thread of laughter in it that stroked down Di’s spine.
"Hello, landlady. I’ve been waiting to meet you."
A tanned hand was held out and when she automatically took it, callouses brushed her palm. The grip was strong, confident, and didn’t crush her fingers; this was a man with no need to prove anything.
'The Science of Submission' by Justine Elyot
"You realise you’re our secret weapon."
Ailish raised her eyebrows at her new flatmates and took a sip of her wine.
"What sort of weapon? I’m a lover, not a fighter."
Jax leaned in closer, resting her elbows on the sticky surface of the deal pub table.
"A knowledge bomb," she whispered dramatically.
Ailish laughed. "I think you might be overestimating me." She looked around the busy pub for the barman, who was distributing pencils from a beer glass to go with the question papers.
"No way. I’ve watched University Challenge with you, remember. I can’t believe how many of those questions you got right. You could be on that show."
"Except I’m not at university."
"Well, when you were at university then." Jax turned to the other two girls on the team. "Seriously, she knows everything. This quiz is in the bag, girls. What’s the winner’s pot tonight?"
"A hundred quid," said Karen.
Ailish took a pencil from the barman and twiddled it nervously between her fingers, hoping she wasn’t about to disappoint her new flatmates. A new job, a new town, new people—she was keen to make a good impression with her colleagues at the advertising agency. Losing them a hundred pounds might not do the trick.
"So down to the Manhattan Lounge after this, then?" whooped Jax, in high spirits, then her face fell. "Shit. I thought he wasn’t coming. Fuck it. We’ve got competition."
Ailish followed the line of Jax’s eye, watching a tall, lean man in dark-rimmed spectacles pick up a pencil and a question paper from the bar before seating himself alone in a corner alcove.
"The Scientist," said Jax, all gloom and doom where sweetness and light had once sat.
"He wins this every week," Karen added.
"Wow." Ailish tried to get a closer look at her intellectual rival, but he had picked up the question paper and was holding it close to his face, as if it might give him a clue what he should write there, despite its revealing nothing more than some category headings and numbered lines. "Just on his own? He doesn’t have a team?"
"Nope. Just him."
Ailish tried not to be intrigued, but as the quiz got under way, she couldn’t seem to prevent herself sneaking peeks at the solo player, taking note of the haphazard hair falling over his cheekbones and the firmly set line of his lips as he pondered his answers.
"What’s question four?" hissed Karen, dragging Ailish’s attention away for a moment.
'Away From It All' by Elizabeth Coldwell
"So, is your husband treating you to this getaway?"
Staring out of the taxi’s window at the rapidly receding outskirts of Lincoln, it took Alyssa a moment to realise the driver was speaking to her.
"Only you’re my second fare out to Thornton Hall this afternoon. The first was another single lady, just like you, and she was telling me her husband’s paying for her to have a week in the spa out of his annual bonus. Deluxe suite, all the trimmings. Nice work if you can get it, eh? So I just wondered…"
"No, this is my treat to me." Alyssa’s tone wasn’t curt enough to be rude, but she hoped she’d given the driver enough of a hint that she didn’t want to discuss the subject further.
Not that she’d planned to visit the spa on her own. Originally, the intention had been to take a break with Kay, her oldest and best friend.
"We deserve this," Kay had said, as she’d flipped through the Thornton Hall brochure, with its pictures of serene women in white towelling robes lounging around the pool, or having hot stones applied to their back in one of the many treatment rooms. "I mean, you worked so hard for that promotion. It totally should’ve been yours. And what happens?"
"Don’t remind me."
After assuring Alyssa he’d recommend her for the position as head of public relations, her boss sat back and watched while the role went to her assistant, Ryan. Brash, over-confident Ryan, who only seemed to have been with the company five minutes, but knew all the right things to say—and all the right backsides to kiss. Whereas she’d kept her head down and relied on the quality of her work to speak for her, always playing strictly by the rules. And where had that got her?
"What you need is some me time, Alyssa, away from the office politics, all that bitching and backstabbing." Kay had pushed the brochure under Alyssa’s nose, pointing out the spa’s newly-opened candlelit pool. "How nice does that look?"
It took no effort to imagine herself relaxing in that pool, basking in the idyllic atmosphere created by those flickering candle flames. No cares, no worries, her only pressing decision being whether to spend time in the steam room or the hot tub before dinner. Kay was right. It was what she needed. A few days of being pampered and indulged, and the opportunity to lick her wounds out of sight of the office gossips. Already, she was sure, the fact she’d been overlooked for promotion was being discussed round the water cooler. Why not go somewhere she couldn’t be affected by any of the pitying glances, or have to put on a smiling face for the benefit of people she really couldn’t stand?
"So should I book us in?"
'The Accidental Sub' by Mina Dorian
The ringing of the phone disrupted Jonathan Udrow’s concentration. He frowned then glanced over at the sideboard, cursing his choice of a retro ring tone for the shiny new cordless device. Of course, when he really got into a scene and his partner was moaning with intense pleasure-pain, most other sounds were usually drowned out by the noise.
The phone gave another shrill ring, and the slender brunette squirmed in her ties. She stood spreadeagled with a metal bar between her ankles and her arms raised above her head, her wrists fastened to the elaborate suspension apparatus on the high ceiling of Jon’s bedroom. The room was large and sparsely furnished, its whitewashed walls still reminiscent of the warehouse attic it had been converted from. Only the bed and the big, old-fashioned bathtub in the corner of the room were proof of its current use. Jon had bought the warehouse in London’s East End earlier in the year after selling his small but successful software company to a competitor. He was in the process of converting the other floors into individual flats and offices but other than having a small bathroom and a kitchen put in behind a dividing wall, he hadn’t got around to buying much furniture for himself yet.
The room was almost dark except for a few strategically placed candles and some Christmas lights in the corner behind the bathtub, now blatantly out of season in April. The floor-length windows behind the woman’s naked body permitted a great view of the river as the lights from the buildings on the opposite bank were reflected on the black water. Of course, she hadn’t come here to admire the view. Jon had picked her up earlier this evening at an S&M club and taken her home to play out of sheer boredom. Lately, it seemed, he had begun to lose interest in dominating strangers and this one wasn’t really his type anyway. She was much too skinny, although he liked her perky tits, especially with the heavy nipple chain he had put on them. Jon grinned to himself wryly.
The brunette was blindfolded with a wide strip of shiny black latex. Her mouth formed a perfect O around the small rubber ball between her lips. He never as rule ball-gagged strangers when playing with them for the first time for security reasons, but the woman had begged him to fill her mouth and he had decided to grant her this small privilege.
The phone rang again and the brunette writhed in her ties, but she didn’t drop the ball. Her breasts jiggled, the nipple chain clinking. She had been squirming before, of course, while Jon had worked a thick, heavily veined rubber dildo into her tight arsehole, inch by inch. But this was different. Now she was clearly wriggling with unease rather than the heady combination of pleasure-pain and arousal that had been almost palpable in the air a moment ago.
Jon drew the dildo out and dropped it on the wooden floor, huffing with irritation. Whoever was on the phone really had it coming to them—it was after one in the morning on a Thursday night, for fuck’s sake! He picked up the receiver and barked, "Yes!"
The male voice on the other end was apologetic, but Jon could also hear fear and confusion. As an experienced dominant he had become an excellent judge of human emotions and, as far as he could tell, Greg was panicking.