Aching feet, too many martinis, and dancing the night away at a club located in the heart of Baltimore led Marley to this moment--her twenty-fifth birthday celebration, to be exact. She plopped down on one of the pillows along the floor, surrounded by her three best friends. The two-story colonial-style house located in the quiet eastern neighborhood of the city had been home to all of them since college.
“Okay, girls, I have an idea,” Bella said.
Sadie’s large breasts--thanks to Dr. Lee--bounced as she squirmed on her pillow. “Oh...do tell.”
“I can hardly wait to hear what you’ve come up with now.” Kyra snorted, flipping her black silky hair over her shoulder.
As usual, Marley didn’t know what Bella was up to. She always attempted to make their lives interesting. “Okay, spill it. What trouble have you planned for us now?”
“Well.” Bella’s crystal blue eyes sparkled with wicked intentions. “Life has been boring lately, right?”
“Mm hm,” Marley responded. That was an understatement. Not saying her job at the elementary school didn’t fulfill her. Heck, she’d worked hard to get the full-time position as a sixth-grade teacher. Yet her life held no spunk. Same routine. Normal hours. Nothing ever changed.
Sure, Marley had had a few boyfriends, but none of them made her feel anything but friendship, and she grew tired of searching for Mr. Right when they all ended up being Mr. Wrong. She’d given up dating altogether a year ago.
“Let’s make a pact of seduction,” Bella said.
Sadie spit out her wine, and it sprayed on Marley’s face. “Oh shit, Marls. I’m so sorry.”
Marley groaned as the warm liquid dripped off her nose. She wiped her face, annoyed, yes, but too stuck on what Bella had said to care. “What do you mean a pact of seduction?”
“Exactly what you think I mean. We each have to fulfill our hottest fantasy. You know, the one you’ve always wanted to do but never thought possible. You’ve got to make it far past what you think you are capable of, something only imaginable in your dreams.”
“You can’t be serious!” Kyra exclaimed.
Bella frowned. “Of course I’m serious. Come on, let’s ruffle things up a bit. We’re all single. Marls is twenty-five now, and the rest of us are all approaching our birthdays too. In a few years we’ll likely be married with kids. All settled down with a life more normal
than the one we live now. Let’s do something crazy, fulfill our ultimate fantasy while we still have the chance.” She paused.
Bella continued. “Two rules: the first, no judging. We’re here to help each other find our fantasy, not laugh at it. The second, whoever commits cannot back out. Friends’ oath.”
Marley looked to Sadie, who shrugged, but her eyes showed undeniable interest. Kyra nibbled her bottom lip. What to do? Could Marley make such a pact? Their friends’ oath was solid and unyielding. The exact reason their friendship held so tight. They’d never broken a vow to each other, and Marley did have a fantasy.
She spent her days guiding youths to do right, and had always been the one in control--she wanted to give that all up. She wanted a man to show her how to behave properly, and punish her for her disobedience. A man who had a body she could drool over, maybe even smoldering eyes, and one who could lift her tall frame with little effort. Add sex into the equation and heat exploded into every molecule of her body.
Before she agreed to anything, Marley needed to see if this had been just another thought passing through Bella’s busy mind or if she meant what she said. “Exactly how do we decide who goes first?”
“We draw straws.” Bella grinned.
“Draw straws to get it
on.” Kyra laughed.
“Yes, exactly,” Bella retorted. “Tell me you’re not a little interested. We’d never fulfill our fantasy alone, or be brave enough to do it. So let’s make a pact. I don’t know about you all, but I’m bored as hell. I need something to spice up my life. Don’t you?”
Marley considered this. If she made the pact with her best friends, there would be no escape. Did she have the strength to make good on her word? She glanced around to her friends, and excitement showed on their faces, even Kyra’s. Marley would let her hesitations go too.
This was her chance to do something she’d never do if not forced. Maybe this could be a turning point for her. A way to break this boring cloud that had settled over her life, and maybe she could meet a man who could stir something more than friendship-level feelings. She drained the rest of her chardonnay, wiped her mouth, and smiled. “I’m in. What do we do next?”
Bella took a pad of paper and a pen off the end table and handed each of the women a sticky note. “We write our fantasies down; then we’ll share them.” She lowered her head, and Marley did the same.
By the time it was Marley’s turn to read her fantasy, she had discovered Kyra wanted two men, Sadie wanted a firefighter, and Bella had an interest in being with a woman.
When all eyes focused on her, Marley cringed. She had a hard enough time thinking these thoughts, let alone voicing them. “I can’t read this to y’all.”
“Oh, it’s gotta be good.” Bella snatched up the paper and read the note. “Our Marley here wants to be dominated.”
“You do?” Sadie asked.
“Like bondage, sadomasochism, that type of stuff?” Kyra interjected before Marley could respond to Sadie.
“Well...” Marley suspected her cheeks burned red. “I’m not sure what I want because I don’t know much about BDSM, but I like the idea of being told what to do and having someone else in control of my pleasure.”
All heads nodded, and in unison they said, “Sexy.”
Bella jumped up, then ran into the kitchen. A moment later, she returned holding four straws. “The shortest straw goes first, and so on. Here, Kyra, you’re up.”
Kyra pulled one that could be the tallest, but at this point, it was only guessing.
Bella held the straws out for Marley. “You next, Marls.”
Marley took a straw and grumbled at the small size, barely measured up to her pinky finger. Okay, she’d agreed; however, she didn’t want to go first. She didn’t think her friends would bail out, and she didn’t plan to either, but she wanted to go somewhere in the middle. A comfortable place to be.
Sadie took her straw, measuring the size of her index finger. Then Bella raised hers. “Hold ’em up, ladies.”
Marley looked from straw to straw, then realized she’d picked the wrong damn straw. Bella was next, then Sadie, with Kyra picking the largest straw. Smiling faces looked at Marley, and she groaned. “Oh no.”
“Oh yes.” Bella beamed. “You’re up, buttercup.” She practically ran over to the computer desk, only to return with her laptop a moment later. “And I’ve got the perfect place in mind.”
“What place?” Marley scooted toward her as Bella clicked away on the keyboard. “And how long have you been planning this?”
“Oh, not long, just a week or so,” Bella replied. “When I did some research on fantasies, I discovered this place in Bowleys Quarters.”
On the small screen, a Web site with a castle decorating the background and big, black, bold letters on the top read, Castle Dolce Vita
. “What is it?”
“A sex club.”
Kyra’s eyes went huge. “A what?”
“Don’t get your granny panties all in a bunch.” Bella shushed her with a flip of her hand. “They have forums where you can contact people who have similar interests as you do”--she wiggled her eyebrows--“sexually.”
“Ew.” Kyra groaned. “This sounds really dirty.”
Bella ignored her as she usually did when Kyra protested one of her plans. “I was reading here. The rules are: all participants must sign a waiver form to insure privacy will be kept while at the castle. No cameras allowed and no videotaping permitted. All participants must provide a clear STD and AIDS test and a background check to the members they’re involved with before they are allowed to engage in sexual acts. And lastly, when members are involved in club life, they’re not allowed to engage sexually with anyone outside of the castle.”
Bella stopped reading and glanced to Marley. “Sounds safe to me.”
Marley looked to Kyra, waiting for her to disagree, but she only shrugged. “It sounds safer than if you went to a bar and slept with some random guy.”
“Oh God.” Marley grumbled, dropping her head into her hands, realizing the inevitable had fallen upon her.
“Ha.” Sadie giggled. “Let’s just hope you’ll be saying that when you’re with the guy.”
The others laughed. Marley didn’t. She raised her head, full of apprehension. “Do I have to go first? Can’t one of you?”
Bella scowled. “Fate decided, and you’ve got to listen. Follow the rules, remember.”
“Yeah, yeah, I remember.”
Sadie squirmed closer to Bella to look at the computer screen. “So what do we do to become members of the castle?”
“The rules say it’s by invitation only,” Bella replied. “We have to join the forum, write a letter from Marley describing who she is and what she wants, then wait for someone to call to discuss the possibility of an encounter.”
Kyra snatched the laptop from Bella and settled it onto her lap. “Let me write the letter. We want to make you sound sexy but smart. We don’t need some lunatic responding to you.” She rubbed her hands together. “Now then, let’s make this good.”
* * *
Stone walls didn’t give the air of a warm room, nor did the cold cement on the floor, but it set the mood perfectly for the BDSM scene. Reed circled his submissive as she stood atop a wooden box in the center of the bare room.
Zoie was good and obedient. The nipple clamps pinched her areolae hard, just as Reed wanted. He tugged on one to induce a mild amount of pain, and Zoie whimpered, yet not in a way that made him hesitate--she sounded too desperate. Reed had enough confidence to know she needed more than he could give her.
Not every sub Reed played with could tolerate the pain Zoie managed. He enjoyed pushing her limits because she could take the overload. He added two weights to the chain that connected the nipple clamps. Zoie’s gaze burned with desire as she hissed.
“I think I’ll leave you waiting for a while.” Reed strode toward the other side of the room. He grabbed the plastic bottle off the metal tray containing the sex toys, and drank the lukewarm water as his gaze scanned the small space. The old American country estate, Castle Dolce Vita, catered not only to BDSM but to all desires.
By day he was a criminal lawyer, but on evenings and weekends, the BDSM floor had become his home since his lifestyle submissive, Samantha, left him two years ago. He’d loved; he’d lost. He wouldn’t make the same mistake again.
Just as he placed the bottle back on the tray, the door to the room opened. “You were looking for me.”
Reed glanced over his shoulder to find his good friend and roommate Kole drenched in sweat and running a hand through his blond hair to wipe off the perspiration. Kole punished harder than Reed. Reed used floggers and crops, among other toys, but he refused to make the sub bleed or leave bruises, while Kole delighted in granting such pleasures.
Kole took a quick glance at Zoie before he looked back to Reed with curiosity in his eyes. “What did you want?”
Reed understood his friend’s inquisitiveness--it wasn’t often he called Kole into a scene. “She’s outgrown me, and I think you’d be better suited to her.”
“Sounds interesting.” Kole all but purred. “Tell me about her.”
“She’s got a high tolerance for pain, and I can tell she needs, craves more, but you know it’s not my thing.”
“But it’s mine.” Kole grinned.
Reed held no jealousy, mainly because he’d never had the connection with Zoie to warrant it. If he needed to put his submissive with another dom to satisfy her, he would. No questions asked.
“Well, well. Let’s go have a look, shall we.” Kole stepped over to Zoie. Her breathing hitched when he ran his hand over her hip. He gave her ass a light slap, and Zoie squealed.
Reed settled near her, expected her to focus on him. When she didn’t, he issued a demand. “Zoie, look at me.” He grasped her jaw and squeezed firmly. “Tonight was our last night together.”
She shook her head. He tightened his grip, putting a stop to her disobedience. “Kole will take you on. You’re safe with him. I would not give you to just anyone.”
Zoie’s gaze flickered over to Kole, and excitement lit her eyes. Reed squeezed her jaw again, drawing her attention back to him. “You’ve been a good girl, and I’ve enjoyed my time with you. I offer you Kole as a reward for how much you’ve pleased me.” He kissed her cheek. “Be a good girl for Kole too.”
“I will, Sir,” Zoie responded.
Reed stepped away just as Kole slapped Zoie’s ass with another light hit. Her eyes closed, and she moaned. The reaction from her confirmed Reed had done the right thing. He grinned at Kole, and Kole smiled back.
He turned on his heels and proceeded to leave the room. As he opened the door, he heard Zoie’s screams echo against the stone walls. Kole laughed. “I’m going to enjoy you, sweet Zoie.”
The door closed behind Reed, and silence fell around him as he made his way toward the restaurant. He was satisfied he’d done right by Zoie. However, a thought stayed in his mind: what now, and more importantly...who?
He passed through the dining room in the castle, entered the restaurant, and emptiness greeted him. At this late hour, the only other person here was the barkeep. He took a seat on the stool in front of the black marble countertop where the laptop was located, and the bartender handed him his usual choice of beverage, a cold beer.
Reed took a long swig before he clicked the mouse on the laptop to venture into the BDSM forum. He scrolled down the messages and was not surprised at what he found. Woman looking for dom. Slave ready and willing.
Minutes drew on as he read through them, one by one, and nothing jumped out as an interest. Frustrated, he raised his beer to his mouth again, and as the liquid filled his throat, his gaze landed on something that spiked his curiosity.
The seduction pact! Indulge my fantasy!
He placed his beer back on the bar and clicked on the message. First he saw the words but didn’t pay the note any attention because the picture of the woman captured him and stirred his cock.
Her green eyes stood out against the dark, wavy curls of hair surrounding her face. He glanced over to her stats. Five-eight. His cock grew heavier. Reed stood at six-one. He was always looking down on women at an uncomfortable angle. If this woman had heels on, she’d be close to eye level with him, and the thought aroused him.
He scrolled back up to her message to see what the sexy woman had to say.
One woman needing a dom to fulfill her desires of BDSM. Limits unknown but will try new things to discover herself and satisfy the man who controls her.
Reed’s heart pounded. He wanted to be the one to introduce her to BDSM. His reaction surprised him.
He clicked the claimed
button at the top of the screen to indicate she had been contacted by a dom and was now off limits. Then he reached into his pocket to grab his cell phone, and after he entered the last number, he placed the phone to his ear.
It rang twice, and then a string of curse words followed by shuffling filled his ear. Reed had expected to receive voice mail. He had not anticipated someone would answer at this late hour. “Hello?
More rustling sounded before a trembling voice answered, “Hello.”
In the background, Reed could hear a couple of women giggling, and he wondered if he had the right telephone number. “I’m looking to speak with Marley Adams. Is she around?”
“Um...er...” The woman cleared her throat. “This is her.”
“I’m Reed Matheson. I’ve seen your profile on the castle’s forum and am interested in arranging a night with you.”
He was met with silence and pulled the receiver away to look at the screen, curious if she had hung up, but the lit screen indicated she hadn’t. He returned the phone to his ear. “Are you still there?”
Reed waited a good thirty seconds before he concluded something was amiss and wondered if maybe this was a joke. “I’m not in the mood to be trifled with. I’d recommend the next time you ladies want to play a game, you choose another method to do it. Good night.”
“No, don’t go.”
The desperation in her voice stopped him. Clearly something else was going on here. If this wasn’t women being drunk and playing around, what could be Marley’s hesitation? Then it dawned on him. “Is the problem because you’re not alone?”
Another round of hushed giggles sounded. “Right. Then I take it you don’t want to discuss this with your friends there?”
“Exactly.” Marley sighed.
That sigh of hers sent a rush of blood straight to his cock. Her voice held a wonderful sensual tone that appealed to him and confirmed he had made the right decision to contact her.
His reaction intrigued him. When had he been so interested in a submissive? Not since his ex-girlfriend and that knowledge sent a ping of pain to his heart, which he flatly ignored.
He wanted to be the one to guide Marley. Something about her made his stomach clench, and the thought of not having her maddened him.
Now understanding that she’d paused because she craved privacy, Reed took another approach. He scrolled back up to Marley’s information, clicked on her e-mail address to open a new message, and attached his profile. “We’ll keep this short then. I’ve sent my details to the e-mail address you’ve provided on the forum. Have a look, and we’ll go from there.”
He heard shuffling again, some whispered arguing, before Marley gasped. “Oh...um...you’re...”
Reed chuckled. He didn’t mind that his looks left her speechless. Hell, hers had done the same to him. “Do you approve?”
“He’s gorgeous,” a woman said, not Marley.
The sound of a slap followed by Marley’s grumble informed him she’d just issued someone a punishment for speaking so loud. “I’m interested,” was all she said.
That was enough for him. “Read through the castle’s rules and follow them accordingly. It’ll take you around twelve days to get all the documentation you require, so let’s meet two weeks from tonight. Come to the restaurant at the Castle Dolce Vita at seven p.m. When you arrive, you will ask for and always address me as Master Reed. Understood?”
Her response made him tighten his jaw. “You will answer me with words, not sounds.”
“Okay...sorry. I’ll be there.”
He would rid her of that behavior. He preferred that his submissives to speak forthrightly and for their responses to be clear. “Very well. I look forward to seeing you then.”
A long pause followed before Marley whispered, “Me too.”
Reed waited for her to hang up first, and as her friends in the background laughed, he heard Marley exhale, long and deep. Nervous? Excited?
He could only be pleased he’d gotten to her first. Many Castle Dolce Vita doms would want her, but he’d snagged her. His throbbing cock reminded him he’d gotten lucky tonight.