The Maestro's Butterfly

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Miranda O'Connell has just made a dangerous bet with her mysterious, sexy music teacher that will change her life forever. She doesn't know Claudio du Fresne is a vampire who keeps human submissives as feeders and sex slaves, or that he is quick to punish with a sound spanking. Or that he has secretly brought his ruthless brother in on the bet. Victoire "Jack" du Fresne wants a piece of the action. He will help Claudio ensure the survival of his risqué stage show, if Claudio agrees to his terms. If Miranda ...

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Miranda O'Connell has just made a dangerous bet with her mysterious, sexy music teacher that will change her life forever. She doesn't know Claudio du Fresne is a vampire who keeps human submissives as feeders and sex slaves, or that he is quick to punish with a sound spanking. Or that he has secretly brought his ruthless brother in on the bet. Victoire "Jack" du Fresne wants a piece of the action. He will help Claudio ensure the survival of his risqué stage show, if Claudio agrees to his terms. If Miranda decides to stay after 30 days, she becomes Claudio's property. If she decides to leave, she becomes Jack's. Those 30 days will open Miranda to a world of sexual possibility and dark desire, where fear and lust become one. If she can handle the intensity. Will she fall in love with the kinky vampire Maestro and submit to life as his feeder slave? Or will she escape the confines of his estate for the dashing, dangerous charms of his brother?

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590032077
  • Publisher: Red Wheel/Weiser
  • Publication date: 11/1/2010
  • Series: Ravenous Romance Series
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

As an erotic romance writer, Rhonda Leigh Jones believes that the most important sex organ you have is your brain. What happens in the mind - the associations, the memories, the emotional content—is what gives meaning to the actions. Her writing reflects that. Rhonda writes about power dynamics. She enjoys frightening, dominant men and women who find strength in submission. She will take you to the edge. Rhonda was born in Augusta, GA in the United States, in 1968. She holds a B.A. in English and her professional background is in journalism.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

"Have you ever given up all of your power to a man--to let him do anything he wishes?" Claudio asked suddenly.

"Excuse me?" Miranda was already unnerved by the fact that she had let her music teacher talk her into letting him drive her forty minutes out of the city on the long, dark road to his home, that the Georgia wind was laced with the cold nip of October, and that bare trees clawed at the sky with bony fingers. She had not yet discovered he was a vampire.

"I am boring you," Claudio said, his French accent breathy and sensuous. "You have resorted to daydreaming in my company." He accented the middle syllable and pronounced it "daydrimming." She found it unbearably sexy, and hoped he couldn't tell.

"Um, ... no," Miranda said. "I was just looking at the trees." Her heart beat rapidly. She had heard every word of the question, and it had intensified the prickles of fear on her scalp. She blushed, because that also meant she was growing wet. For Miranda, fear and arousal usually went hand-in-hand.

Sometimes she felt very afraid of Claudio du Fresne.

She also thought he was the most beautiful man she had ever seen, with masculine and feminine features mingling in his face and manner. His heavy jaw and robust nose were frequently softened by a coquettish expression. He wore his dark hair shoulder-length and trained away from his brow, allowing it to curl under at the ends. Silver streaks swept back from his temples and his eyes, whispering with thin creases. They were unwavering, black and bottomless.

Those eyes made Miranda uneasy, and that uneasiness had often made her want to throw herself at his well-polished shoes.

Heturned to her now with the bare hint of a smile, lowering his eyelids in a lazy blink. "I think you would very much like to submit to my power," he said. "And I would like very much to have this power over you. You are a thing of fragile beauty, a butterfly fluttering in my grasp."

Nervousness made her giggle. "Is this why you asked me out? To get me to agree to let you do whatever?"

"But of course," he said, as though it should be patently obvious. "From the moment I saw you, I have wanted to touch you. But you are a fine musician also. If you turn me down, my time is not wasted. I will continue to teach you at the price we have agreed."

"And if I don't turn you down?" she asked. "If I let you do whatever you want to me?" She seriously doubted she would have been able to say those words to him if he wasn't driving, and if it wasn't dark and if she wasn't just a little bit music-drunk from attending his solo violin recital at the university.

"Then I will teach you for free--and much more than playing instruments. I will teach you of love, and sex. Real sex, my dear. And surrender."

Miranda had to take in a breath at the word surrender. It was one of the words that made her scalp prickle with an uncomfortable thrill. And when spoken by a man like Claudio du Fresne, whom she suspected could easily make her surrender to his every whim, it sounded dangerous and wanton. Still, she had to stifle a nervous giggle. "You're definitely sure of yourself," she forced herself to say. "I'll give you that."

"And why wouldn't I be? Why would you refuse such an offer, hmm? I give you many lessons because you are a good musician, yes. But also because I find you beautiful. You accept for the same reason."

As if in response to Claudio's compliment, she pulled down the sun visor to use the vanity mirror and pretended to check her mascara. It was usually the only makeup she wore, but tonight she had added a bit of lipstick and eyeliner. She had showered early enough to let her hair dry naturally, because Claudio had once remarked how he liked the golden ringlets, and it frizzed if she brushed it. Shoulder-length and cut in layers, it gave her a flouncy, energetic look she enjoyed. She wished she had the confidence to act the part right this minute. Maybe she could fake it.

"Oh really?" she asked, snapping the sun visor back in place. "Maybe I'm just using you. You're the one who approached me. Maybe I'm just taking your half-priced lessons to take advantage of you. Men are easy that way." She grinned at him for her own benefit. She had no idea he could see her perfectly in the darkness.

"Then why did you allow me to bring you to my little recital? Why are we going to my home tonight when you know it is too far for me to bring you back before morning?"

The hard edge of a warning just beneath the silky surface of his voice caused Miranda's grin to falter. She tried to swallow, but her throat had gone dry. The hair along her spine stood to attention. It felt like needles. "Okay," she said, trying to force the tremble from her voice. "You've got me. I can't resist a man in a monkey suit."

Claudio had worn a tuxedo for the recital, and was obviously accustomed to dressing formally. He had moved with fluid grace, seducing the audience, teasing them unmercifully. "This evening," he'd said while striding the stage like a tiger, "you will have to ask for it."

They had. An older woman in the third row had called, "Please, Maestro, play for us!" And he had put the instrument to his chin and drawn the tiniest of screams from it with his bow, silencing all movement in the auditorium. For a while, Miranda had forgotten where she was. Eventually, however, she had begun to envy the little red-stained violin in Claudio's hands as his deft fingers had spidered up and down its delicate neck. And he had known. Those bottomless eyes had found her and impaled her to her seat. He had played for her tonight, had touched her with his music in unseen places.

"You like my tuxedo," he said now. "Perhaps you will like other things as well." Without warning, he put on his blinker and turned from the dark highway down a pitch-black road, through tall, shadowy stands of Georgia pines.

Miranda sat forward, straining against the seatbelt. "What's going on?" she asked.

"Don't worry," Claudio said, stopping his car by the side of the road. "I only want a moment with you--to talk before I have to share you with my family."

"Your family?"

He nodded, that hint of a smile on his lips, that lazy look in his eye. "My musicians are not my employees. I do not live in this way. They are family. They have been with me for a very long time."

Miranda's ears rang in the relative silence. In the darkness, Claudio was faceless. He leaned toward her. She felt his fingertips graze her shoulder. "He could rape me," she thought, flooded with shame at the tingling between her legs. She hoped she didn't stain her dress or the seat of his car.

He unfastened his seat belt. "I am very, how do you say, old-school?"

"Meaning?" Her voice sounded worried and breathless.

"Meaning--" he said, tugging the strap of her evening dress off her shoulder. It put up no resistance. "I want to do things to you. To take my pleasure with you. To give you the kind of pleasure you truly want."

"And what kind of pleasure do you think I truly want?" she said quickly. "Since you know so much about me and all." She told herself she should insist that he take her home. She wondered if he would even honor such a request.

He slid across the seat and wound his fingers in her hair, holding it in a little ball at the back of her head. It hurt enough to get her attention. Her eyes grew wide. She felt dizzy from too much adrenaline. Claudio's breath warmed her cheek, then her ear. "I want you at my mercy, cherie. Would you like that? Have you ever been at the mercy of a man who isn't afraid to take what he wants?"

As he spoke, his free hand found her knee and slipped under the hem of her dress, between her thighs. She whimpered as chills prickled over her belly. The knowledge that she would not be able to refuse any request he made at this moment chilled her. She shivered all over.

"Claudio--" There was a plea in her voice, but she couldn't have said whether it was a plea for him to stop or to continue. Either way, he didn't seem to hear.

"Have you ever been punished by a man, Miranda?" He rested his hand between her thighs and traced circles on the sensitive flesh.

"Punished?" She was barely able to utter the word. Claudio had hit upon her most humiliating fantasy, the secret terror that frequently brought her to orgasm as she lay alone in the hours before dawn, wet after some nightmare about being chased down mysterious hallways by faceless men who meant to deal with her for something wicked she had done.

He continued. "Have you ever been made to suffer for displeasing your lover? Have you ever been whipped?"

She uttered a little cry and tried to escape him. The intensity was too much. Along with punishment, any variation of the word "whip" made her want to hide, from both fear and utter humiliation. Her entire body never failed to grow hot with embarrassment whenever she couldn't avoid saying it, even in the most mundane of circumstances, such as, "Which aisle is the whipped cream in?" It was as though merely uttering the word would be to lay all of her confusing desires open for the world to jeer at.

"No," she whined, pressing against the door and twisting in his grasp.

"No you haven't been whipped?"

"Stop saying it like that," she said, horrified at how her insides yielded with his insistence.

He held her still and squeezed her inner thigh until it hurt. Shards of sensation stabbed up into her groin. He made a deep groan and ran his hand up toward Miranda's desire-soaked panties. The cool fabric of the dress slithered over her thigh. She tried again to pull away, embarrassed for him to discover how wet she was. She felt his fingers slip around the panties to touch her secret folds of skin. She wasn't ready. He shouldn't be touching her like this. She let out a long stream of air as he nuzzled her throat and whispered against the tender skin.

"You like this," he said. "Yes?" The word sounded urgent, commanding.

Again, she whimpered, wanting to beg him to drag her into the woods and force his dark, evil desires on her. She liked thinking that his desires were dark and evil, but she didn't want that to arouse her. She pressed against the door and tried to escape his fingers, which were now pushing their way inside her. Back and forth, he moved them, until she couldn't help but move her hips to the rhythm he set.

He pressed closer, forcing her down into the seat, thrusting hard with his fingers, stretching her suddenly and painfully. It was the sort of pain that could bring her to a quick and violent orgasm. "Yes?" he demanded.

"Yes," she breathed, wishing she could see his face. Glad she couldn't.

"You want to know your place with a man. You want to fear him--more than just a little."

"And you think it's you?" she gasped. He was too close. He wasn't the type of man she should be pressed against, and he was hurting her. He can do anything he wants, she thought. She wanted to run, and she wanted to beg him to fuck her.

"Is it me?" he mused. "We can see." He let go and slid back into the driver's seat, taking a handkerchief from his pocket and wiping his fingers. "If you are strong enough to test my theory, then we can see."

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