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Never in her life had Sadie been to a sex club. She did have certain preconceptions about what the interior of one should look likemetal trim, neon lights, lots of leather and nakednessbut not once had she considered the inclusion of the large wooden cross currently facing her from the stage. Anyone entering Mavericks for the first time would be struck by the sight. Leather cuffs dangled from the tips of shining silver chains secured to the dark polished wood. The beams were crossed with supporting leather straps. The thing taunted her naïveté, practically begging her to come forward and throw herself at its mercy.
She cleared her throat.
Warmth from the afternoon sun still heated her skin, a contrast to the cool air of the bar. She'd agreed to come at this hour because the club would be empty of the normal crowd, saving her from any possible embarrassment. While she'd known Paul wouldn't tease her for being a bit wide-eyed during her first visit to Mavericks, she'd rather not face an entire room filled with club members. Thankfully, the main bar was otherwise empty of any other unusual equipment.
If her siblings could see her avoiding the behemoth in the room, they'd tease the holy hell out of her. She was not a prude, thank you very much. Her footsteps clicked as she kept walking in a wide circle around the center stage and the cross. Sadie wasn't completely innocent. In theory, she knew what a St. Andrew's Cross was even if she lacked the practical experience. Her sister, Paige, had told her about a few times when she'd been stretched out on one, how she could have come out of her skin from the sexual turn-on she'd experiencedand hadn't that been a screwed-up conversation.
But being faced with the reality was much different than any fleeting fantasies Sadie had.
No response. Sadie checked her watch, wishing once again that she'd called ahead to make sure he wouldn't be late. She'd come right over from the coffee shop, which was only a five-minute power walk through Toronto's Queer West district. She should head back and wait for Paul. It would be better than skulking about an adult-only club by herself.
She hated being alone.
""Paul?"" Yeah, this was so not going to plan.
Unable to stop herself any longer, Sadie's gaze slid over to the cross. She pictured herself tied up, stretched wide and exposed, surrounded in the crowded club, making her the center of attention. Paul would be there, dressed in leather pants, bare-chested and wielding a flogger, marking her pale skin. The reality was, she couldn't imagine being brave enough to do something like that. She wasn't like Paige. Or Ian for that matter. Her siblings had gotten all the showmanship genes in the family. Sadie was content to hang out on the sidelines.
And if she were completely honest with herself, being on the receiving end of a public flogging wasn't what actually fired her sexual imaginationbut being with Paul did.
The tap, tap, tap of footfalls on the catwalk above grabbed her attention. She caught sight of Paul as he turned the corner and came down the metal staircase. When his gaze met hers, it was as if a switch flipping somewhere deep inside her chest. Squeezing the edge of her clipboard, she mentally beat down the butterflies.
""Sadie! I'm sorry. The minute I walked through the door, I had to take an emergency call. I'm gone for twenty minutes and you'd think the world was falling apart at my office. You weren't waiting long?"""