“Have I ever lied to you?”

I looked up. “No, but you’ve never told me anything unless you had to. You want more from me…you demand everything. And I’ll give it to you, but…”

He caught my face in his hand, his thumb restless against my cheek. I leaned into his touch, oblivious of the people staring at us with lust and envy and passing interest.

“This is the past,” he said slowly, but firmly.

“This is now.” I touched his cheek, a silent call for the darkness that always simmered below the surface of the man I loved. “Indulge me.”


Blake’s jaw bulged, displeasure written across his features. I had pushed him, yet again. I’d likely pay for it, but if he opened up to me, it would be worth it.

He began to walk, pulling me toward him as Remy had before.

“I’m not leaving,” I hissed, refusing to go any farther.

“We’re not leaving, for fuck’s sake. You want to see what goes on in here? Like it or not I’m going to show you. It’ll be punishment and education all in one filthy fucking package.”

I couldn’t speak. I couldn’t move until he tugged me toward him once more. This time I went willingly and without argument. Shuffling unsteadily on my heels, I followed him until we slowed in front of the dark, empty booth Remy had offered to us.

Only steps away, the corseted woman from before was now being forced into another compromising position at the hands of the man who I presumed to be her master, at least for the night. He was a thickly built man, his shirtless body on display. He gripped her hair and she gasped, her eyes hazy with lust and whatever intoxicant flooded one’s body in these helpless erotic moments.

Blake was behind me now, his hands resting possessively on my hips. “You wanted to come here and taste this life. Maybe I should take Remy’s advice, break my own rules, and give you a very public lesson.”

I stood stark still at the husky threat. For all the fear that being in Remy’s presence had elicited, I could barely breathe anticipating what Blake would actually do to me now.

The muscles in the man’s arms flexed as he made fast work of his leather trousers. Seconds later he was in the woman’s mouth. Hands bound, she took his thrusts, letting him make lusty use of her mouth as a means to come.

“Would you like that, Erica? Would you like for me to make an example of you that way?”

I shook my head. No. I didn’t want that. I couldn’t fathom it, being bound or bent over for anyone’s public pleasure. It was horrifying, yet I couldn’t tear my eyes away.

“Are you sure? That could be you,” Blake whispered, skimming his hands down my dress. “I think they’ll finish soon. He won’t last long that deep in her mouth. Then I can show the people here what a bad fucking sub you are.”

I drew in a breath through my nose, trying to ignore the unwelcome pulse between my legs, but all I could smell was sex. The woman was gagging herself with every attempt to draw the man to the back of her throat. He’d kicked her legs farther apart with the thick toe of his black boot. Her body quivered, need seeming to ripple through her as she pleased him. Then a jolt when the same man whipped her ass from above. She gasped for air, whimpering loud enough for us to hear when he peppered her with a series of hard lashes.

“You wouldn’t do that to me.” My voice was laced with challenge, but suddenly I was uncertain of how much I could trust Blake in the confines of this establishment.

“Why not? Don’t you deserve it?”

I shivered at the fresh edge in his voice. Maybe I did. I couldn’t answer, but I sure as hell wasn’t going to admit it.

“Do you think he loves her, Erica?”

My heart hurt when he said the words. I turned my head. I couldn’t watch anymore. Then I heard the man’s groaning pleasure. I couldn’t see it, but I was certain he’d come.

“Your turn, boss.” Blake circled my body, catching my wrists when I went to move away.

My eyes flew open. “No. I can’t.”

He hauled me against him, securing me again by the waist. The part of me that wasn’t in a full-blown panic reveled in the full contact of his hard body against me. I was frightened, aroused, and completely confused. The only bright spot was the certainty that no one here gave a shit.

“I think you can. You’re brave. Look how brave you’ve been tonight already. Not to mention last night. Thinking about that makes me want to punish you all the more.”

“No,” I whimpered, hating the cold, teasing tone of his voice.

“No doesn’t hold much weight here, Erica. Did you know that when you walked in here?” His voice was softer, almost sympathetic.

I wanted him to take pity on me now. Save me from this chaos, and I’ll never do it again, I swear.

“Go ahead,” he urged.

“I can’t do that in front of everyone,” I cried softly. “Please don’t ask me to. Please…” 

I couldn’t breathe. The furious beating of my heart was the only sound in my ears. I was trembling in his arms, the safeword on the tip of my tongue. Fucking on the conference table unbeknownst to Greta a few feet away was one thing. Having sex and taking punishment in public, no matter how much my twisted mind might have fantasized about it, wasn’t something I was capable of. Not tonight, and very likely, not ever.

Oh God. What if this is what he wants, what he craves?

“Come here,” he said quietly.

“No, please,” I begged, but his intense embrace had softened and he was leading us to the booth.

Relief crashed over me that he wasn’t forcing me to go through with it. Would he really have? I didn’t want to believe that he could have, but how could I know? I didn’t know what kind of man he could be here. That’s why I had come.

I huddled against him, my enemy and my savior, waiting for my nerves to calm. He hushed me, running his hands over my arms and sides, the way he always did when he needed to take me away from my thoughts and back to the moment, back to him. I opened my eyes finally, peering around the dark club. Through my lashes I caught a glimpse of Remy across the room. He sat in his throne-of-sorts. We were shrouded in darkness but somehow I could feel Remy’s eyes on me, his unwelcome touch a memory on my skin.

Blake rested his hand on my thigh. I was still pressed close to him, not sure who or what to be terrified of.

The poor young man from earlier was now being led around the room on all fours, his tortured penis bobbing as he followed Tessa around. She ignored him mostly, engaging in conversation with other patrons. This was a place for fantasies of the darkest variety. If I’d learned anything, I’d learned that.

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