My breath caught just looking at her, the joy evident on her face.

I had to force myself to scroll down. I needed to know.

The document read:

Born December 23, 1993, Erin Blaire Bellose is a 26-year-old law associate with Carrigan, Hernandez, and Jones law firm. She was born, raised, and currently resides in Las Vegas, Nevada, the daughter of lawyers Joe and Mary Bellose. She graduated magna cum laude from the University of Nevada, Reno, with a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice and from the University of San Diego with a Master of Law in Business and Corporate Law.

I read a little bit about Erin’s childhood and college days, all the clubs and organizations she’d participated in over the years. Pretty typical stuff like Habitat for Humanity. The fact that she had a black belt was impressive.

I looked up from my phone and briefly wondered what it would be like to take her on in a fight. Would we reach a point where, sweaty and breathing hard, our proximity became too much and we just gave in to the heat between us? Would we end up fucking right there, so overcome by lust that we wouldn’t make it to a place more private?

A shiver ran down my spine, and I forced myself to keep reading.

The last paragraph of Mike’s report caught my eye.

After scouring social media and chatting with a rather talkative intoxicated acquaintance of Ms. Bellose, she and longtime boyfriend Braxton Sewell recently broke up after she caught him cheating on her. It seems Ms. Bellose kicked him out of her condo after witnessing the indiscretion. Based on her recent posts on social media, she appears to be disenchanted with men for the time being. Currently, she is staying at the Golden Gate Hotel as a member of her close friend Greer Walsh’s wedding party. The wedding will take place on Wednesday, October 30.

I let out a huge sigh of relief at the fact that there weren’t any huge red flags in Erin’s background. Sure, she’d implied that she was only in town for a limited amount of time for a wedding. She likely was on vacation from work, meaning she didn’t lie to us outright. Talking to two men she hardly knew, I couldn’t really blame her for not being completely truthful. It was self-preservation.

Everything I read about Erin made me like her even more. She was shrewd and intelligent and went after what she wanted. Mike made it seem like she wasn’t the biggest fan of men at the moment, but the time Caleb and I spent with her last night in our office said otherwise. Sometimes people needed a distraction to move on. What better distraction was there than being introduced to BDSM?

And the fact that Erin was local, well, that changed everything. Maybe she really was the answer when it came to helping Caleb find himself again. Only time would tell.

Exiting out of the PDF, I made sure to Venmo Mike a hefty chunk of change.

Later that day, I head into work early so I can get my duties out of the way before Erin’s arrival sometime in the evening. While I’ve always had some difficulty staying cooped up, I found it impossible to stay focused on what I was doing. My mind kept wandering and I found myself reopening the PDF Mike sent just so I could look at Erin’s picture again. I was starting to feel like a schoolboy with my first crush.

On my way down to the Dungeon, I ask the bartenders to keep an eye out for our guest, and go into the private room in the Underground to wait. I spend nearly a half hour messing around on my phone before my phone rings.


“Hey boss,” Grey replied, “your guest is here.”

Finally, I thought, though it was still fairly early in the evening. “Could you have someone escort her down, please?”

“On it!” Grey said, disconnecting the phone.

It felt as if I held my breath the entire time it took for Erin to get downstairs. I started to feel a strain in my chest by the time I heard a knock on the door.

Standing, I ran my hands down my suit, smoothing any wrinkles that may have formed. “Come in!”

The door opened and Grey said, “Erin is here to see you, Sir.” I saw a small smirk on his face and could tell he was hamming it up for Erin. We’d never made our employees talk to us with any formality.

“Thank you, Grey,” I said, stepping forward. He nodded and left, closing the door behind him. “It’s nice to see you again, Erin.” I gently grabbed her right hand and brought it to my lips, pressing just the ghost of a kiss to her skin.

“It’s nice seeing you again too, Jackson,” she replied, her face flushed. Tonight Erin had her hair styled in long, loose waves and wore light makeup and a deep purple dress.

Nicole Casey Books | Erotic Books | Love by Numbers Series Books