- Author: Anthology
- Genre:BDSM & Fetish, Contemporary
- Cover Artist: April Martinez
A Good sub Would... by Sierra Cartwright
Shelby, a wanna-be sub, hasn’t found a Dom strong enough to push past her need to be in control. Her experiences as a sub have been yawn-inducing. She’s fantasized plenty, though, about Trevor Lawton, one of Dark Haven’s legendary, mouthwateringly firm Doms.
As the stakes get higher at the charity poker match, Dom Trevor Lawton is fascinated by the woman kneeling across the table from him. Problem is, she’s not a good sub. Oh, she tries, and she’s lovely. But she’s not very good at following orders. The woman needs a firm, unyielding hand...his.
Hunting Holly by Belinda McBride
When Holly left the Truckee pack, she left her family, her safety, and the two men she loved. Now she's in San Francisco training as a Domme at Dark Haven. She thinks she's found herself, but tonight, Tex and Hunter have found her. And they are not happy with their little wolf. She's been keeping secrets from them. Tonight, someone's gonna beg.
Welcome to the Dark Side by Cherise Sinclair
Real Doms terrify her, so Summer plays with lightweights only. And only in the safety of her club, Dark Haven. But on Western Night, the tough cop who wins her in a sub-roping game is as powerful as they come.
Virgil's first taste of BDSM was disturbingly enticing. Hoping to burn out his interest, he visits an infamous San Francisco club, where he wins himself the prettiest little sub he’s ever seen. He’s in a quandary. A man shouldn’t render a woman helpless, let alone spank her ass. But the nervous little submissive clearly loves being in his ropes. Her need to be controlled is as powerful as his need to control. So he indulges himself, and her.
That one night could be the beginning, but instead it's the end. She won't play outside the club and he lives too far to come play. He'll just have to find a way to forget her...or get her in his ropes to stay.
- Note:All of the stories within this anthology contain explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable: strong BDSM theme and elements (including/not limited to: bondage and spanking).
"It's your bet, Master David."
Silence hung over Dark Haven's makeshift poker room as everyone waited for Shelby's sometimes-dom to answer Master Trevor's challenge.
From her peripheral gaze, she noticed one of the dungeon monitors head for the door, presumably to fetch Master Xavier, the club's owner. The friendly game of poker to benefit a children's charity had just taken an interesting turn.
Shelby continued to kneel on the floor next to David's chair and told herself a good sub would keep her gaze on the floor. A good sub would mind her business while the doms conducted their wager.
A good sub would school her mind and focus on her dom's wishes. And David's wish was for her to behave so he'd look good.
Earlier, after he'd picked her up from her hotel, he'd told her he intended to play Master Trevor in tonight's charity Texas Hold'em tournament at San Francisco's Dark Haven. In fact, if all went according to his plan, the evening would end in a showdown between Trevor and David.
Shelby knew that her friend, David, had a complex relationship with Master Trevor, and six months ago, he'd lost a sub to other man. According to the story, David had been at Dark Haven with Janine, a fun but fickle sub who changed doms like others changed shoes. After seeing that Master Trevor was alone, she'd unfastened David's collar and tossed it over her shoulder before kissing Master Trevor's boots.
Although Master Trevor hadn't accepted Janine as his sub, hadn't even played with her that night, David's ego had still been battered.
And now that everyone else had folded or busted, the last hand of Hold'em had, indeed, come down to the two of them.
At the beginning of the evening, David had made a charitable contribution of a thousand dollars in exchange for poker chips. Earlier, he'd been up substantially. But over the last half hour, his pile had diminished rapidly. His bets had become more and more reckless, and it seemed as if he was barely looking at his cards, let alone the flop, before raising the stakes. If she'd noticed that, so had his opponent.
Tension rippled across the room.
Each man had already been dealt their first two—hole—cards. And only moments before, the dealer had turned over the flop, the first three of five potential community cards.
She had no idea what either man was holding in the pocket, but a surreptitious glance had told her the flop's high card was a king of spades. There were no pairs, no other face cards. A heart and a diamond meant a flush was unlikely, possible but not probable.
"Master David?" Master Trevor prompted a second time.
Shelby noticed David's hand form a fist alongside his right thigh, betraying his agitation. He'd run through his first thousand dollars. He was a lawyer in an area of town with a high crime rate. It was a decent job, she knew. It paid the bills, but David all but ran a nonprofit. He took on significant amounts of pro bono cases. His offices were run-down and beat-up, and he'd never met a sob story that didn't tug his heartstrings or hurt his wallet. His wages definitely didn't finance a luxury lifestyle.
Time dragged, and she shifted. Being a good sub, she was learning, wasn't as easy in real life as it was in her fantasies. She knew stealing a glance at either man—especially Master Trevor—might earn her a spanking from an angry David, but out of boredom mixed with healthy curiosity, she was contemplating the risk.
Even though she lived in Denver and only visited Dark Haven a few times a year, she knew of Master Trevor's stern reputation. Other subs dreamily whispered about him, wanting to experience his lash.
He stood well over six feet tall and commanded respect just by walking into a room. His broad shoulders, dark hair, unyielding jaw, and purposeful stride were the stuff of fantasies. Factor in his sexy, gravelly voice and she'd been a goner from the start.
If she were honest, she'd admit the other subs weren't the only ones to fantasize about him. Ever since she'd first seen him last fall, she'd masturbated to images of him, and she hadn't felt guilty doing so. He was exactly the type of man she wanted to dominate her.
She and David had known each other since college, and their friendship was more of a companionship than a relationship. Truth was, they were too good of friends to be fabulous lovers. Even their BDSM scenes had become a bit boring. She might not have a lot of experience, but she suspected he allowed her to get away with too much; being with him was nothing like her fantasies, nothing like the books she read or the videos she watched.
The last time she'd been with him in San Francisco, she'd tried to hide yawns she'd blamed on jetlag. She'd initially declined his most recent invitation, but when he'd mentioned that Dark Haven and its Western-themed night were on the agenda, she'd rearranged her client load so she could fly in and attend.
Even though she had been kneeling on the floor for at least an hour, seeing Master Trevor with a replica six-shooter strapped to his thigh made everything bearable.
A cowboy hat sat jaggedly atop his head, partially shadowing his steely, electric blue eyes.
He'd wrapped a dark blue bandanna around his throat, and a tailored Western shirt hugged his upper body.
Because she'd been placed on the floor like a good little sub, she knew his brown cowboy boots were authentic, marred and scratched by the years. He also wore a pair of spurs. The silver had dulled, but they had made a forceful sound when he'd walked across the floor earlier.
The dark color of his jeans had faded slightly, and he'd obviously worn them a number of times, long enough that the denim had broken in to hug his strong thighs.
Master Trevor sat easily in his chair, his shoulders relaxed. He toyed with several high denomination chips, turning them over between his thumb and forefinger.
Last night, after she'd packed her suitcase for the trip to the West Coast, she'd drizzled lube onto her bullet vibrator and lay down on her bed with her legs spread. She'd imagined him drawing her across a room and tying her to a spanking bench, her ass upturned for his hand or a flogger, whatever he chose. After tonight, though, and seeing the well-worn belt circling his waist, she knew future fantasies would include that supple leather against her backside.
Unable to help herself as the minutes dragged on, she sneaked a glance at the object of her desire. He looked at her—apparently sensing her perusal—and held her gaze captive.
A shiver of fear mixed with desire raced up her spine as they made eye contact.
In that brief second, his steel blue eyes promised one thing: punishment. If she were his sub, her out-of-bounds behavior wouldn't be tolerated. He'd expect, and demand, perfect submission.
Her breaths threatened to strangle her.
She wanted him. She craved his dominance. And her raw need scared her.
He raised a brow commandingly and nodded toward the floor.
Even though he wasn't her dom, she immediately dropped her gaze to stare at the wooden floor.
BDSM wasn't a way of life for her. Rather it was something she occasionally enjoyed, much like having dessert after a celebratory dinner. The weekends a few times a year satisfied her needs. Or they had, until right now, until this powerful reaction to Master Trevor's unspoken command.
She heard the echo of footsteps, and she dared another surreptitious look. This time, though, she didn't look up. She glanced sideways so it wasn't immediately noticeable that she was deliberately disobeying both Master Trevor and David.
Destiny, the club's receptionist who seemed to know everything and everyone, and Master Xavier had entered the room.
The club's enigmatic owner came in without saying anything. He didn't need to. Master Xavier electrified the air. An alpha among alphas, he was dressed in black trousers and a burgundy vest. His long black hair hung down in back in an oh-so-sexy braid. As if comfortable with his legendary status, he folded his arms across his chest, lord and master of all he surveyed. Everyone knew it; everyone respected his authority.
"Having trouble with your sub?" Master Trevor asked David, looking across the table and inclining his head in her direction.
Copyright © Sierra Cartwright, May 2011
All Rights Reserved
Holly laid her trail carefully, taking a few side trips up rickety fire escapes and onto the roofs of various commercial buildings. The city wasn’t like her home in the mountains; she couldn’t use running water to mask her trail. But then, she wasn’t leaving a visible trail for the men’s sharp eyes, so the trade-off was good.
Briefly she considered a run to Golden Gate Park, where they could shift and race, but Hunter would probably stay on two feet. She felt a moment’s sadness for him. She’d taken to her wolf these past few years out of survival. He’d locked away his wolf out of fear.
She wondered which of them was more pathetic.
Tex, though, he was healthy. Perhaps that was why she’d always craved his company. They’d spent hours together, often in peaceful silence. Sometimes she’d been privy to his innermost secrets. She knew he’d been afraid for his best friend Rico when the man had fallen in love with the very human Briony. Turned out Briony had some mysterious secrets hidden under her milk chocolate exterior.
She thought about Doc Bree with a pang of loneliness. When she’d run, Briony had been blossoming into early pregnancy. With a jolt, she realized the baby would be born by now.
She didn’t even know if it was a boy or a girl. Eva hadn’t told her. Tears burned her eyes, and she wiped them away, angry at herself. If she’d stayed within the safe confines of the pack, Holly would never have been able to walk among her friends and family as one of them. She’d never have been able to summon the strength to consider a job or even take a lover. More than anything else in the world, Holly wanted children…children who lived. She wanted a man who cherished her and would keep her fears at bay. She wanted a man who could unlock the mysteries of her body. She wanted a man like Tex, who radiated goodwill and happiness.
To her consternation, she had come to realize that Tex wasn’t all that she wanted. She wanted Hunter too. Dark, moody, soul-torn Hunter, who’d been her silent shadow from her earliest memory. But like her, Hunter was damaged and broken, unable to embrace his wolfen nature. She saw it in his eyes: he thought she feared him after that wild, deadly rampage. He didn’t understand that any of them were capable of the same thing. He didn’t understand he’d been her salvation that horrible last day.
Holly made an agile leap from the roof of an old car and landed on the low rungs of a rusty ladder. From there she ran from landing to landing, jumping gracefully and with uncanny accuracy. Hunter hunted, and Holly could run. The thought made her smile. Perhaps she should shift and lead them to a park, or even down to the coast. If she moved fast enough, he’d be forced to change shape just to keep up with her. It offended her wolf that he’d rejected that vital side of himself. It crippled him, and Holly wanted him whole and healthy. She was willing to push him to the edge in a wild mating run. She could force him to shift and heal himself. But she realized he had to do this in his own time. If she forced the issue, she might end up alienating him.
Holly tilted her head, listening for the distant echo of pursuit. It was too late to change her plan; they were already coming.
She grinned and laughed in delight, looping in a giant circle, leading them back to where it had all started. Within minutes, she’d backtracked to Dark Haven.
Tex was a pretty good hunter for having no enhancements; he seemed to have a knack for locating the most likely route she might have taken. Once, they found themselves on a fire escape that was so fragile, it barely held both men. Another time they ran swiftly over flat rooftops, leaping from building to building.
As they hunted, Hunter’s excitement increased, because, like Tex, he’d finally come to the conclusion that his little Holly was playing a game, leading them on a chase. This was flirtation and courtship, and she was initiating the game. It was the sudden awareness of what came at the end of the chase that had him aroused. Slowly but surely, they were heading back into the neighborhood from where they’d started.
When they arrived back near Dark Haven, the men moved at a silent, deadly pace, swifter than shadows in the darkness. They were only blocks away from the club when he spotted her.
“Is that her?” Tex’s voice held amazement as they slowed to a stop. He’d never seen her human form before. Hunter hid a grin at what his companion had in store, because Holly… She was beautiful.
They hadn’t caught Holly; she’d finally stopped running. And she now stood poised under the misty light of a street lamp. Wet asphalt glistened under her bare feet. She was waiting. His heart pounded frantically, unable to differentiate between lust and anger and flat-out joy.
There she was, beautiful as he remembered. Her black hair was long and sleek instead of cropped and dull. Instead of ragged bleached cotton, she wore tight denim jeans and a Western-style leather vest with nothing under it but skin and a lacy black bra. Though she was barefoot, he was willing to bet she’d left a pair of cowboy boots somewhere inside.
She saw them, and the wild emotions in her eyes reflected what he was feeling. She looked from one man to the other, and to his chagrin, Hunter realized she was equally drawn to them both. He glanced at his companion, almost amused at how transfixed Tex was.
He was a goner. Hunter knew Tex had sought out Holly over and over again since they’d come to Truckee. Most likely his promiscuous behavior had been out of confusion—the subconscious knowledge that what he needed most was…somewhere. Never knowing she was right under his nose. Jealousy flared and then died at the dawning realization at what was happening right there and then. Something he’d never dreamed could happen…
Then she snared Hunter with that fathomless gaze, and likewise, he felt as frozen as a deer in the headlights. He was caught, and so was Tex. The knowledge wasn’t as painful as he would have expected. His inner vision of the future shifted, making room for one more.
“I always knew she was my mate. Just didn’t figure she’d be yours too.” His throat felt so tight, it hurt to talk.
All Rights Reserved
Refusing to listen to Mark whine, Summer Aragon dragged him away from the whipping scene to the upstairs stage. The calf roping had started.
Bouncing on her toes, she watched a dom chase after a collared older submissive on the raised platform. Almost to the end, he managed to grab her and toss her down on the well-padded platform. As he tried to bind her ankles and wrists, the crowd roared advice, cheering in yeehaws and whoops and whistles. God, didn’t that look like fun?
“And another sub bites the dust.” Mark slung an arm around her shoulders and pulled her against his lanky frame. “I’m heading home. You gonna come over?”
“Leave now?” After she’d spent all yesterday shopping for just the right leather skirt and vest? She gave him an exasperated stare. When he’d shown up in a T-shirt and jeans instead of western wear, she should have known he’d bow out early. “We haven’t been here even an hour.”
“Don’t care. I had a rough day.”
A rough day of programming? Please. She thought of her own day as charge nurse for the surgical floor: filling in for the med nurse, transferring a patient to the ICU, wading through reams of doctors’ orders, managing a code right at the end of her shift—successful, but God, the paperwork—fixing the diet orders the kitchen had screwed up…and on and on. “Don’t you want to join the calf roping?”,br>“Nah. Jason lent me a new apocalypse movie, and I want to see it.”
She considered briefly: a cozy winter evening watching TV or finding someone to play with here. Play, play, play. “I’m going to stay a little longer. I’ve got an urge to be a calf.”
“Go for it.” He frowned. “I don’t think Rick or Mike are here though.”
Summer bit her lip. No buddies? That wasn’t good.
She only scened with a few doms, ones who were just friends outside the club. Lightweight scenes, lightweight doms. She didn’t want more. That would mean dealing with a real dominant—like the darkly tanned man watching the whipping downstairs whose slow scrutiny had heated her from the toes up and set her insides to quivering. Not for me, thank you.
But if her buddies weren’t here, who would she play with? She glanced up, realized Mark was considering staying…just for her. She smiled at him. “Go home, Mr. Couch Potato.”
“That’s me.” He gave her a relieved look and added, “Sis is having everyone over for Sunday brunch. She said to invite you so you can get your kid fix in.”
“I’d love it.” She kissed him lightly before he headed for the exit.
A whooping scream pulled her attention to the far corner where a submissive had been thrown off the mechanical bull. Laughing like a loon, the brunette forfeited her bustier and climbed back on. The bull started to buck and twist. Summer winced as the submissive’s breasts bounced in conflicting directions.
In another corner, people line danced to Tim McGraw’s “I Like It, I Love It.” One row held only unattached submissives, both male and female, wearing very few clothes. Tempted to join, she observed for a second. More bouncing breasts—and balls and cocks and butts.
Summer folded her arms over her full chest. Just watching was painful. No, she wanted to be a calf, she really did. But without her safe buddies?
Hmm. Recently she’d thought about testing her nerve by playing with other doms…easy ones, of course. Was this a hint from the gods?
I can do this. Determinedly, she joined the submissive queue, trying to figure out the rules. To her dismay, Xavier and Simon sat at a table by the stage, matching up each dom and calf. They’d make the choice for her? Her stomach clenched. What if she got a sadist?
But Simon was supervising. He’d been all protective since his party last year where Dirk had hurt her so badly, and he’d surely not choose someone cruel. Besides, if the dom caught her, she could still negotiate what the session afterward would involve. And they’d play here in a public place.
Despite her self-assurances, her heart rate increased as she neared the front.
The audience groaned as a sub managed to evade the chasing dom. The blonde, giggling in a high voice, jumped off the stage. Adjusting her skintight latex dress, she trotted back to the end of the line.
Xavier glanced at the sub in front of Summer and announced, “Jen is next. Gentlemen?”
The contenders raised their hands, and after a moment, Simon pointed to a tall, lanky man. “Aaron. Good luck. She’s a fast little critter.”
Jen and Aaron took their places.
My turn. Summer stepped up to the desk and waited for the two doms to notice her.
With dark hair and dark eyes, Simon and Xavier appeared like a matched set although Xavier looked flashier in his gambler’s clothing. In his forties, Simon was older and attired as an 1860’s banker. Rich, classy, powerful doms—so not her kind.
“Summer, it’s good to see you.” Simon motioned her forward and asked quietly, “How are you doing?”
“I’m fine. Thank you, Sir.”
“Are you being careful?”
After she’d healed, he’d given her a lecture on safety measures, and she’d listened carefully. One set of scars from a misjudgment was enough. “Yes, Sir. I never play anywhere but here.”
He straightened, a crease forming between his brows. “That’s taking prudence a little too far, pet. How can you form a relationship if you won’t leave here?”
At the thought of being tied up and alone with a dom—a real dom—she felt as if someone had run a cold hand up her spine. “I’m happy being a sub here.”
Xavier frowned also. “A sub? You’re not submitting; you only go through the motions. Playacting.”
Just team up on me, why don’t you? And you’re wrong. Her chin went up. “I believe that’s up to me.” When Xavier’s eyes turned to black ice, she gulped out a hasty, “My Liege.”
His forefinger tapped the desk for one beat.
She had a vision of being caged and hung from the ceiling like the last sub who’d displeased him.
Or up on the stage being used for flogging practice.
He finally nodded. “That is your choice.”
She took a relieved breath. Thank you, God.
Xavier turned to the crowd. “Gentlemen, this is Summer. Who would like to win her submission?”
Oh great. Make a big deal of the submission part. Thanks, Xavier. She turned to see an ego-stroking number of hands had gone up. A couple of sadists, some younger doms, and—her gaze was trapped by intent hazel eyes shaded by a black cowboy hat. The rest of the crowd blurred and faded away, leaving only the darkly tanned dominant she’d seen earlier.
He studied her; then his lips curved in a faint smile. He raised his hand to compete.
Her heart gave a nasty thud. Oh God.
“Virgil, I believe this little calf is a good one for you. She’ll need a steady hand,” Xavier said.
As if she were caught in a dream, she watched the dom—Virgil—move forward through the crowd. He looked appallingly big. A couple of inches over six feet. Dirk’s height. Probably about as heavy too, but this dom was as solid as the mechanical bull. He wore a scuffed black hat, faded cowboy shirt, and well-worn boots; she doubted his western outfit was a costume.
As he stopped beside her, his level, assessing eyes met hers, and the floor seemed to shiver like quicksand under her feet.
He glanced at Xavier. “Thank you.” He sounded pleased, thank God, since she really didn’t want to annoy him. Why did he have to be as big as Dirk? He made her feel like a little calf, and she glanced down to make sure she hadn’t grown hooves.
The sun lines beside his eyes crinkled. When he took her hand, hard calluses on his fingers scraped her palm. “Nice to meet you, Summer.” His rough baritone voice curled around her in a dark embrace.
All the spit in her mouth dried up, yet she wanted to move closer. Confused much, Summer?
“Are you ready to play?” Virgil asked, unsnapping his shirt cuffs and shoving his sleeves up to his elbows.
Lord have mercy. Even his heavy-boned wrists were muscular. But he’s not Dirk, and I’m going to be a calf. Her excitement started to rekindle. An ornery calf. “Only if you catch me.”
His growling laugh almost made her knees buckle.
“I’m glad to see you here, Virgil,” Simon said and added, “By the way, this little sub had a bad experience last year, but it’s time for her to move past it.”
Summer’s jaw dropped. “You… Damn you, that’s none of your busi—”
A hand covered her mouth completely, and a voice rumbled in her ear, “I’m new to the club, but I’d say that disrespecting a dom is a piss-poor idea.”
Oh hell. Xavier came down hard on rudeness.
Seeing the cold stare he gave her, she tried to back away, except Virgil’s unmovable, rock-hard body pressed right up against hers. Xavier turned his gaze to Virgil. “Are you still interested?”
“She will need to be reprimanded for her rude behavior.”
Virgil didn’t speak for a long moment, then said, “I understand.”
“Very good.” Xavier tilted his head toward the stage. “You’re up.”
Summer climbed the steps, way too conscious of the big dom behind her. He’d punish her? The thought of his strong hand coming down on her bottom—of having a real spanking—sent anticipation zinging through her. She glanced over her shoulder.
Such a serious expression, brows together, mouth in a tight line. But as he watched the stage where Aaron had just tossed Jen over his shoulder, laughter appeared in his eyes.
Summer smiled. He had a sense of humor after all. Oh, this might be totally great.
On the platform, the male sub directing the roping pointed to a big sack. “Boots and shirt go in there, Sir.” He checked her. “Your boots too.”
She got one boot off, but then Virgil removed his shirt and, oh Lord, her gaze got stuck on the impressive contours of his chest. With every movement, muscles rippled under his tanned skin. As he pulled his boots off, his biceps bunched, making her fingers tingle with the need to touch and discover if his muscles were as hard as they looked.
He caught her staring and smiled—not a conceited I-work-out-and-have-a-great-body type smirk, but more of a I’m-a-boy; you’re-a-girl; life-is-good. He nodded at her remaining boot.
Oh, right. She yanked it off.
“Okay, Sir and sub.” The sub handed Virgil two pieces of short rope from a box and pointed to a taped line ten feet away. “When she reaches the yellow line, you give chase. If she gets to the far side or you can’t restrain her within the time limit, you lose. No tackling.”
“Got it.” Virgil gave her a slow smile. “I don’t think she’s that fast.”
She eyed him as he put the ropes between his teeth. God, this was too fun. Her competitive spirit ordered, Run like hell. Her inner submissive said, Let him catch me. The gung ho voice won, and she leaned forward.
The sub yelled, “Go!”
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Copyright © Anthology
- Cherise Sinclair's Welcome to the Dark Side Review by Cindy
Second - A Good sub Would... by Sierra Cartwright. This one was more staight BDSM. Trevor Lawton wins Shelby Salazar for one week at a poker game. He sees that she isnt a very trained sub and he wants nothing more than to make her into true submissive during this time. There time together is all about her training so its a little more intense in the punishments. I liked both characters and was hoping for a HEA.. Did they get it.... Read the book :) (Posted on 6/27/13)
- Cherise Sincliar Review by Judi
- Good compilation Review by Megan