Part of the Stories that Stand Alone
They were the best of friends in college but after going off into the world their lives drastically changed. Now, Dylan James, in-house counsel for a D.C. lobbyist firm is once again face-to-face with Cristine Palmer, defense attorney from New York. The passion that had been on a low simmer because of prior relationships is now on full blast. But Dylan has a dark side that he’s certain Cristine will not understand. Cristine has not come this far to walk away from her feelings for Dylan again, so following him to Chicago and bidding for the lover she’s always dreamed of is her only option.
Part of the Stories that Stand Alone
They were bidding on men, bachelors to be more specific.
A room full of women, obviously with money to spend, were sitting on the edge of their seats eager and ready to make their winning bids.
Cris had no idea what she’d gotten herself into. The only thing she knew was that she’d left New York looking for something to fill a void that had been building within her for the last few years. Instead of heading back to South Carolina where she’d been born, Cris had gone to another familiar place, Washington D.C. To be precise, she’d gone to Dylan James. He had been the best thing about her years in D.C. and Cris thought he might be the key to what she felt her life was missing.
A series of strange events had taken place in the two days she’d been in D.C. and now, Cris was in Chicago at the Southlake Park Cultural Center. She was seated at a table near the back, staring down at a program that matched the brochure she’d found near Dylan’s car at the parking garage in D.C. Yes, she’d really hopped on a train to see this man in D.C. and then bought a plane ticket to follow him to Chicago.
Well, she was about to find out because Dylan James a.k.a. The Master had just stepped onto the stage. The bidding and whatever was meant to happen next, was about to begin.
The Next Night
“I want you to strip, insert the gag and lay on your stomach across the bed. I’ll bind your hands and fuck you until I’m done.”
Cris resisted the urge to gasp and curse. But yeah, she really had some choice words running through her mind at this very moment. For starters, who the hell did he think he was? No, who the hell did he think she was? More importantly, did he just say gag and bind?
In all fairness, she was the one who followed him to Chicago after he’d walked out on her at the club in D.C. She was also the one who stood in a room full of women and bid four thousand seven hundred and fifty dollars—almost every penny of her savings—to secure one night with the man who had once been her best friend.
But she was not a prostitute or some sort of sex slave which was exactly how his tersely spoken instructions made her seem. In fact, Cristine Angela Palmer graduated summa cum laude from Howard University and in the top 2% from Syracuse Law school. She was a twenty-nine year-old corporate attorney with a 2.5 million dollar trust fund that remained untouched. And she was presently standing in a brightly lit room debating whether or not she’d made a colossal mistake.
“Wouldn’t it be more romantic if we had some candlelight and music? We could undress each other and then—”
“That’s not how this works,” he interrupted and turned to lock the front door. “You bid on a night in my playroom. We’re here and we’ll get started.”
Right. Cris nodded but she was almost positive there had been nothing in that brochure from the Southlake Bachelor Auction that described her being bound, gagged and fucked. However, she had known exactly who she was dealing with when she’d made the first bid. That wasn’t entirely accurate. Cris knew Dylan James, the college student. As for the man Dylan had become, well, she had a feeling she was about to get a crash course in just who that was.
“I don’t do romance. You paid for tonight. I intend to give you what you paid for.” He walked to the other end of the space and stopped at a desk. Reaching into the front pocket of his pants he pulled out a silver key ring with only a few keys attached. He unlocked the top drawer of the desk and pulled out some papers.
“I’ve stated what I want,” he told her when he was once again standing in front of her. “The consent agreement says you understand that and give your permission to participate. There’s nothing in here regarding the terms of the auction, but that was covered in the bill of sale you received once your credit card payment was processed in Chicago. Sign and date on page three and we’ll begin.”
Cris accepted the stapled pages without looking at them. Instead, her gaze remained riveted on Dylan’s chocolate brown eyes. When had they become so hardened and serious? He was still tall with an almond complexion, close cut hair and goatee. And he still wore a suit just as well as casual attire and appeared sexier than any man she’d ever seen.
“If you need a pen there are some in the holder on the desk. I’ll give you a few minutes to look over the agreement and ask any questions you may have.”
His next words were spoken in a tone that said he was willing to answer questions, but really hoped it wasn’t necessary. After all, they were both attorneys. Cris knew her way around a contract. She’d started her career at a large firm where she handled defense litigation for insurance companies and then progressed to the firm’s corporate department, so her last few years had been filled with contracts, agreements and pleadings designed to circumvent or enforce them all.
But this was an agreement to allow him to perform sexual acts with her.
Sex with Dylan.
Her body was definitely on board for that.
Her mind, however, overruled and she took a few moments to review every word. From aftercare and anal training to soft limit and voyeurism there was a complete vocabulary that correlated with the terms of the agreement which comprised the final three pages of the six-page document. Cris wasn’t totally familiar with them all, but reading women’s fiction and erotica novels was one of her favorite forms of de-stressing and so she knew a little bit about…this situation.
What she’d never known or saw coming was that Dylan was a part of this world. Cris looked up after reading the last word.
He was once again moving across the room—the extremely dour looking room. The furniture definitely looked expensive so that wasn’t the problem. The bare smoke gray-painted walls and glossed cement floors gave a very cold and uniform aura. This was a studio apartment, but it had been designed to look like one huge bedroom. The bed with its four metal posts shooting up to within inches of the ceiling was positioned in the center of the space. There was a black satin duvet turned down on one side to reveal a gray sheet. No pillows.
As Cris continued to peruse the area she noted long black lacquer tables pushed against the walls on both sides of the room. On one table there was a black box with a number of drawers, the handles sparkling like diamonds. She wondered what was inside. On another table there were towels folded neatly and stacked in piles alternating between black and gray colors. Dylan removed the wool jacket he’d been wearing. He opened a stainless steel armoire and hung the jacket inside.
“Your twenty-four hour period started ten minutes ago when we walked through the door.”
His tone was clipped and Cris wondered where the guy she’d stayed up with under the guise of studying so many nights had gone. Those were the memorable years that Cris perhaps foolishly thought she could recreate when she returned to D.C. Dylan never left D.C. after grad school, but went on to attend the Francis King Carey School of Law at the University of Maryland. Cris hadn’t seen or spoken to him in almost nine years.
She held up her hand and waved the contract in the air. “So we’re definitely handling this like I’m a paying customer? Despite the fact that I know more about you than probably anyone else in this whole city.”
Dylan had lived in a house on campus with four other guys, one of which had been Cris’s boyfriend during freshman and part of sophomore year. Which was why Cris had taken Dylan’s warnings about her ex seriously and ended the relationship before things became too problematic. In turn, when Cris’s roommate had set her sights on Dylan, Cris had been quick to tell him that the girl was more interested in the fact that Dylan’s father had just started his campaign to become a senator and that there were rumors Dylan would be following his father’s footsteps. That’s how they’d become friends, sharing information and commiserating together. They’d remained close depending only on each other for honesty and support until graduation.
“I’m not that guy anymore, Cris. I tried to tell you that when you followed me into The Corporation. I’m still not sure how you were able to get in.” Dylan’s brow furrowed, his dark gaze pinning her to the spot where she stood.
The Corporation was an elite sex club with facilities all over the world. Its clientele ranged from diplomats to businessman who dared to pay expansive amounts of money for the pleasure that drove everything they did or could ever imagine. Membership at The Corporation was a powerful drug, taking money from the globe’s largest bank accounts to fund an age-old habit. An enterprise built by men and women with one thought in mind: pleasure. The idea had been simple, its implementation professional and high class, its profits, staggering.
“Just because I’ve never been to the club, doesn’t mean I’d never heard of it. There’s one in New York. A couple of my former clients were patrons. I called one of them and they gave me a recommendation. That, along with two hundred and fifty dollars, got me through the door. I didn’t know you were such a valued member at an upscale sex club.”
He stared at her as if he might say something more, maybe explain what had happened that hardened him so much over the past nine years, but he did not. He undid the buttons at his wrists and rolled up the sleeves of his shirt.
“Are you signing the agreement or not?”
He sounded as if he meant business.
Okay. Cris could slip into her lawyerly mode as well.
“Section two, clause four calls for proof of acceptable medical health. I’m not sure twenty-four hours is time enough for both of us to abide by these terms,” she stated evenly. “I have a latex allergy so I travel with a personal supply of polyurethane condoms and only use water based lubricants. Also, I’m stating a resounding no to any form of whipping, spanking or torture.”
For one, Cris had been raised in a house with three older brothers who loved to tease and bully her. She learned to fight back early on and hadn’t stopped since. And two, whipping, spanking and torture weren’t things most African Americans would tolerate in this day and age.
He stopped unbuttoning his shirt to stare at her intently. “I do not possess any whips or paddles and do not get off on torture.”
“Then you might need to rewrite your consent agreement.”
Cris reached into her purse and pulled out a pen. She drew a line through the clause she was opposing and scribbled her initials beside it. Just above the signature line she added a new clause detailing her latex allergy and subsequent requirements before initialing that clause as well. Closing the space between them she offered him the pen and agreement saying, “Your turn.”
He didn’t read what she’d written, just initialed the two places where she had and signed his name on the designated line. He crossed the room again, placed the contract in the top desk drawer and turned back to her.
The solitary word was spoken with chilling clarity that should not have sent tendrils of desire skating down her spine. But try as she might, Cris could not control the urgings that had been prickling her skin since the night she’d watched Dylan at The Corporation sitting in a chair while a woman gave him a hand job. Again, she shouldn’t have been aroused at that sight. She hadn’t thought she should have been jealous either. She and Dylan had never been a couple. Yet, a mixture of both feelings had rippled through her body with such ferocity that she’d waited outside the men’s room for him to appear after cleaning himself.
But now was not the time for memories. Cris yanked the leather jacket she wore from her shoulders. She tossed it and her purse onto the bed and pulled her blouse from the ban of her jeans. He was right, she’d paid for twenty-four hours, she was going to get what she paid for, even though she had no idea what that was.
Her breasts were high, blush-colored nipples were large and hard before she bent over to push the tight jeans she wore down her long slim legs. How many times had Dylan wondered how she would look naked and bared completely to him? Too damn many.
But Cris was off limits. She was supposed to be like the sister he never had. Only Dylan was certain the dreams he’d once had nightly about her was not the way normal brothers thought of their sisters. She wasn’t supposed to be here. Not tonight and certainly not a week ago when he’d gone to The Corporation expecting his regular sexual release. Yet there she was, wearing a skintight green dress and outrageously high heels. Her hair had been piled atop her head in a haphazard, yet stunningly sexy, style. Her face was made-up, her eyes wider than he recalled, lips plumper. Everything about her seemed magnified and overwhelming and Dylan recalled feeling as if he’d been punched in the gut…with a battering ram.
Some nameless woman had approached him. She was a regular at The Corporation and had serviced him before, so Dylan didn’t squabble when she’d fallen to her knees and eased her way between his legs. He hadn’t looked down at her either. His gaze had been locked with Cris’s. So while no-name worked his cock with her hands, Cris took hold of his mind and every nerve in his body. Every reaction, from his initial erection, to the swirls of pleasure starting at his groin and spreading down to his thighs, up his spine and eventually throughout his entire body, were because of the gorgeous woman he was staring at. The woman he thought he’d never see again.
“I’m ready.” Her words snapped him out of his reverie and…
Head-to-toe creamy tawny-hued skin stood before him. In addition to the perfect breasts her mound was clean-shaven, as if she knew exactly what he required even before she’d known who and what he was.
Did his voice sound shaky?
Dylan turned away from her. He removed his shirt and went to one of the drawers. Running his hand over the selection of ball gags, Dylan chose the small silicone heart with the faux leather harness. It was new and the perfect size for a beginner, as if he too had somehow known the next guest in his playroom would be a novice. He was just about to turn and toss the gag to her when he felt her arms going around his waist. The gag slipped from his hand landing on the floor.
“The lady in the club didn’t wait for you to give her instructions,” she told him. “And you enjoyed everything she did to you.”
Her arms moving around him were different. Dylan did not like to be touched. To bring about sexual release was fine, but he preferred nothing intimate. And this embrace was definitely intimate. She’d flattened her palms over his abs, blunt tipped nails sliding seductively over his skin as they lowered to the ban of his pants.
“I’ve worked with her before. She is experienced in what I require.” Again, his voice sounded different. Dylan did not like it.
“Well, I have some experience in the area of sex,” she said before touching her lips and the tip of her tongue to his shoulder blade.
Dylan was five feet eleven inches tall. Cris, in her bare feet, was five feet three inches of spunk and smarts. She’d come up on the tip of her toes to drop that kiss, an action that was absurdly sexy to him. Her fingers were working his belt buckle. The metal made a clanking sound when it was freed and she immediately went to the button of his slacks.
“You paid for a night in the playroom. You will do the things that are done here.”
He focused on controlling the tempo of his words as well as the actions taking place. He covered her hands just as she finished with the button and unzipped his pants.
“I want you on that bed and gagged.”
What Dylan really wanted was for both of them to be fully dressed and sitting in their favorite booth at Tony’s Grill feasting on their favorite bacon cheeseburgers. How had he ended up here, in this room, with her? Everything about this was so wrong. But when she ignored his words and reached through the slit of his boxers to cup his now thick erection, Dylan closed his eyes to the instant jolt of pleasure.
Cris sighed, her breath warm as she rested her forehead against his back.
“I’ve wondered for so long,” she whispered. “You’ve always been built. I worked out with you in the gym so your fierce muscles aren’t a shock to me. But this, I’ve wondered how this would feel. In my hands and in my—”
“Don’t.” The word was sharp and ripped from him with startling force. “Not here.”
There was nothing personal here. Not in this space. Everything he’d placed in this room was for his sexual release. That was all.
Again, she ignored him as if he hadn’t been talking at all these past minutes. Cris always had a one-track mind. The one track being whatever it was she’d focused herself on at the moment. Right now, it appeared she was focused on making him come in her hand. She’d pulled his length free of his boxers and was now stroking up and down his rigid stalk like she was rubbing a prized pet. Her thumbs ran over the tip of his dick and his eyes rolled back in his head. He was not going to come just from her giving him a quick hand job. He was not!
“It feels better than I expected.”
“I did not expect this.” The admission was involuntary and he clenched his teeth with annoyance.
On the down stroke her knuckles grazed his balls and Dylan saw bursts of color behind his closed lids.
“Expect the unexpected,” she whispered. “Haven’t I told you that before?”
Dylan did not like surprises.
She licked his back again and pumped his dick faster.
The unexpected was about to get interesting.