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Desire, Oklahoma 7

Submission to Desire

Brenna Nelson roars into Desire, Oklahoma, for the express purpose of giving the owners of Club Desire a piece of her mind.

She’s suffered pain, fear, and even the loss of her job at the hands of one of their trainees, and she places the blame directly on their shoulders.

Trust doesn’t come easy for her, but their concern for her, and outrage at what their club member has done to her, eases some of her fears.

Before she knows it, Royce Harley and King Taylor ensconce her in their floor at the club and she’s signed a contract to become a submissive at their hands for a month and then be auctioned to live out her wildest fantasies.

The sexual journey Royce and King take her on, though, proves more powerful than she anticipated, and proves to her that she is right where she belongs.

Genre: BDSM, Contemporary, Ménage a Trois/Quatre

Length: 117,718 words

SUBMISSION TO DESIRE

Desire, Oklahoma 7

Leah Brooke

MENAGE EVERLASTING

SUBMISSION TO DESIRE Desire, Oklahoma 7 Leah Brooke MENAGE EVERLASTING Siren Publishing, Inc. www.SirenPublishing.com

Siren Publishing, Inc. www.SirenPublishing.com

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A SIREN PUBLISHING BOOK IMPRINT: Ménage Everlasting

SUBMISSION TO DESIRE Copyright © 2012 by Leah Brooke E-book ISBN: 978-1-62241-343-0

First E-book Publication: September 2012

Cover design by Les Byerley All art and logo copyright © 2012 by Siren Publishing, Inc.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED: This literary work may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, including electronic or photographic reproduction, in whole or in part, without express written permission.

All characters and events in this book are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead is strictly coincidental.

PUBLISHER Siren Publishing, Inc. www.SirenPublishing.com

Letter to Readers

Dear Readers,

If you have purchased this copy of Submission to Desire by Leah Brooke from BookStrand.com or its official distributors, thank you. Also, thank you for not sharing your copy of this book.

Regarding E-book Piracy

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This is Leah Brooke’s livelihood. It’s fair and simple. Please respect Ms. Brooke’s right to earn a living from her work.

SUBMISSION TO DESIRE

Desire, Oklahoma 7

LEAH BROOKE

Copyright © 2012

Chapter One

“Yes, as a matter of fact, you can help me. You can take me to the bastards who own this place so I can give them a piece of my mind!Stilling, King Taylor slowly raised his head from the supply list he’d been working on, dropping his pen on the bar as he came to his feet. His body tightened, the anticipation of turning that anger into something more productive igniting his imagination. Sebastian’s cold, proper tone followed, and although he didn’t hear what their butler said, it quickly became apparent that the woman at the door didn’t like it. “No! I’m not fucking leaving here until I tell them what I think of them. Do you know how much trouble they’ve caused me? I know, you probably don’t give a damn. They probably won’t give a damn, either, but I’m not leaving here until I tell those assholes what I think of them!” The anger and desperation in her voice tugged at something inside him, and before he knew it, he’d already crossed the bar, intent on reaching the furious woman at the front door. Hurrying down the wide hall, King smiled at Sebastian’s attempts to keep the determined and cursing woman from entering, his interest growing. “Let me in! Are they hiding in there? I’ll bet they’re hiding in there. Bastards. Don’t they have the balls to see me?” Getting his first look at the petite, breathtaking beauty, King laid a hand on Sebastian’s shoulder, fighting to recover from what felt like a kick to his stomach.

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She was magnificent! “I’ll take care of this.” As Sebastian moved away, King purposely didn’t block the door, letting the young woman rush inside. As he’d expected, she took advantage of the opening and stormed through the door and into the hall, the look of surprise on her face when she brushed against him, priceless. The look of consternation on her face when she realized that he stood between her and the door was absolutely adorable and made his cock hard enough to drive nails. As one of the Doms in an exclusive club, he’d seen a lot of women in his time, but his first look at the furious one facing him now nearly brought him to his knees. It figured. The first woman in years to stir him with no effort at all, and she was mad as hell at him, and he didn’t even know why. His body tightened at the thought of turning all that passion and energy into something far more productive. Disheveled, with her dark auburn hair wild and tangled around her face, and her cheeks flushed with anger, she had to be one of the most stunning women he’d ever seen. He’d bet she’d have much the same look about her after an hour or two in his bed, and vowed to himself to find out. Fascinated by his own reaction, he studied her, realizing that he hadn’t automatically let his gaze wander to see her body, absolutely enthralled by her flashing blue eyes and full lips, thinned in anger. He would love to have a chance to tame that gorgeous passion and make her purr. Letting his gaze drop, he took in her body, hiding a smile when she shifted restlessly under his scrutiny. About average height, her slimness would have made her seem frail if not for the luscious curves that made his hands itch to explore, but her delicacy appeared to end there. The fire in her eyes and stubborn tilt to her jaw told him she would be as wild and untamed in bed, and one hell of a challenge to master.

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His cock jumped and lengthened at the thought of being the man to do it. A mental image of her naked and on her knees flashed through his mind, making the pressure against his jeans uncomfortable as hell. Before she could change her mind and try to escape, he slammed the heavy door, his body tightening at the flash of vulnerability in her eyes. If he had his way, she would never lose that sweet look, an expression he knew would keep him awake tonight. Facing her, he kept his stance balanced, prepared to catch her if she made a run for it. Mentally changing his plans for the afternoon, he smiled coldly. “I’m King Taylor, one of the bastards who owns this place and I’ve got plenty of balls, Red, but you’ve got to be a good girl in order to play with them.” Watching her closely, he didn’t miss the shock and brief flash of what he immediately recognized as sharp hunger. Both seemed to shock her, the widening of her eyes and sharp intake of breath arousing him even more. The fact that she struggled to hide it challenged him as he hadn’t been challenged in some time. Anticipation flowed through his veins, and it took every ounce of willpower he possessed not to reach for her, throw her over his shoulder, and head for the playroom he shared with Royce. The day already looked better. If he had his way, tonight would be better yet.

* * * *

Brenna Nelson pressed back against the wall, wondering if she should have made a phone call instead of giving in to the instinct to confront them face-to-face. She hadn’t planned beyond getting inside, which she figured would be nearly impossible, and giving the owners hell. She’d expected meeting a man, or men, like Eugene Donner, not one so overwhelmingly masculine and sexy that she immediately forget everything she’d been about to say. Breathing heavily, she gulped, letting her eyes move over what had to be the biggest, meanest-looking man she’d ever seen, one that made her feel as vulnerable as if she stood naked before him. He did it with only a look.

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He stood a little over six feet tall, towering over her, his big body rippling with enough muscles for ten men. His dark blond hair had been cut in a short, no-nonsense style, as though he didn’t want to take the time to deal with it. His body, though, appeared to be something he worked at religiously. Wide shoulders tapered down to a small waist, and she would bet the entire balance of her savings account that he had a six-pack that would make grown women drool. Noticing the bulge behind the zipper of his jeans, she swallowed heavily and hurriedly looked away, her cheeks burning at the wicked thoughts racing through her mind. Her imagination went wild as visions of kneeling in front of him, his hands in her hair as she sucked his cock, fueled the hunger already burning inside of her. The need to touch him had her clenching her hands at her sides, her entire body stiffening against the arousal that made her pussy clench and her nipples tingle with anticipation. If he’d started ripping her clothes from her then and there, she would have helped himher hunger so strong it dampened her panties and made her entire body flush. Taking a deep breath, she tried to get her heart to stop pounding, struggling not to gape at his huge biceps stretching the short sleeves of his shirt, but no matter where she looked, she found impressive muscle everywhere. She could almost feel his strength, a strength that would hold her securely, a power she couldn’t escape as he forced her to accept whatever he chose to do to her. Meeting his gaze, she recognized the confidence glittering in his blue- green eyes, a confidence she’d only seen in the club back home. The self-assurance that he could control her with her own needs, and his own ability to handle the passion he unleashed, had to be the sexiest and the most alarming thing she’d ever experienced. Bristling at his arrogance, and with the sexual awareness it inspired, she shifted restlessly, her imagination running wild. Thoughts of being on her knees in front of him and begging for permission to suck his cock had her scrambling for composure.

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The realization that she’d rushed into something she might not be equipped to handle almost had her racing for the door. He didn’t appear easy to move, and the look in his eyes told her he didn’t plan to let her leave anytime soon. She couldn’t allow his intimidation or her lust for him to keep her from saying what she’d come here to say. Lifting her chin higher, she swallowed heavily at the flash of something dark and dangerous in his eyes, reluctantly drawn to the underlying gleam of male interest. “You’re one of the owners?” Inwardly cursing the hesitancy in her voice, she forced herself to face him squarely. The steadiness of his gaze made her decidedly uncomfortable, the threat in his eyes unmistakably sexual. “I just told you I am. I dislike repeating myself. What’s your name, Red?” She didn’t know why his nickname warmed her, or why when he said it in that deep, slow rumble, she wanted to crawl up his body and feast on him. Resisting the urge to look away, she frowned up at him. “My name’s Brenna Nelson. Don’t call me Red.” “Well, Brenna Nelson, you want to tell me what’s got your panties in a bunch?” His words and that superior look of his had the fury rushing back. Bracing her feet, she fisted her hands on her hips and glared up at him, wishing she’d worn higher heels. “My panties in a bunch? My panties in a bunch? You Neanderthal! You run a club that teaches men how to abuse women and then let them loose on the rest of the world. I get stalked, attacked, and have to file police reports to deal with one of your students, and you want to know why my panties are in a bunch?” His expression hardened with each word, changing dramatically by the time she finished. With a huge arm, he gestured toward an open door off the hall. “Come in and tell me what you’re talking about. Right now.” Gripping her upper arm in an unbreakable hold, a hold that sent even more violent need racing through her, he led her down the hallway.

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Chagrined at the rush of moisture that dampened her panties even more, she tried to keep up with his long stride. The concern in his eyes touched her, warming something inside her that made her want him even more. Clenching her jaw, she hardened her tone, not about to show any sign of weakness. “Your sheriff caught him and I had to go identify him as the man who’s been harassing me.” King surprised her by nodding. “Eugene Donner. And you couldn’t leave town without telling us what you thought about us. I can understand that. Come in.” Not about to let his tenderness get to her, or let the sympathy in his eyes take the wind out of her sails, Brenna crossed her arms over her chest and pulled away from him. Shaken and disappointed that he’d done nothing about Donner, she didn’t even attempt to hide her scorn. “You knew about this guy? You knew he was harassing me and you didn’t do anything about it? You know, you’re even sleazier than I thought. At least other Doms are out there who know how to treat a woman!” Something flashed in his eyes, something that looked suspiciously like jealousy. Wrapping a huge hand around her upper arm, he half dragged her the rest of the way down the hallway. “What the hell do you know about Doms? Do you have one?” Lifting a finger when she opened her mouth to tell him that it was none of his business, he shook his head and pulled her into a room off of the hallway, slamming the door behind him. “Okay, spill it. Tell me everything right now. Do you belong to someone? Who is it and where can I find him?Trying to hide the leap of excitement at his anger and the intent to possess her glittering in his ever-changing eyes, now darkened to greenish blue, Brenna lifted her chin and glared at him. “Listen, buddy, my life is none of your business. I just came here to tell you I think you’re slime. Who the hell do you think you are, telling men it’s all right to abuse women—teaching them how to do it for God’s sake—and then letting them loose? It might be okay for you in your dinky town here…” She paused when he raised a brow at that and opened his mouth to speak, but she ruthlessly cut him off.

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“No. Don’t try to make excuses for yourself. Do you know what that man has been doing to me for the last year? He got this idea from you and all the other assholes here, that he was God’s gift to women. He figured that he could rape a woman and it was okay if he could make her come. He thinks no means yes. He’s been following me and bothered me so much at work that I ended up getting fired. He broke into my car, my apartment, and my locker at the gym. He called me day and night no matter how many times I changed my number. I called the police over and over and this bastard still managed to ruin my life!” “Did he hurt you? Did he rape you?” Taken aback by the underlying rage in his cold voice, Brenna blinked and stood frozen, held in a gaze so mesmerizing, it took several heart- stopping moments before she could answer. Other than Donner, she’d never seen such rage in a man’s eyes before, his anger making them even bluer. Donner’s fury had been frightening enough. She could only imagine what it would be like to have King’s directed at her instead of at Eugene Donner. Shaking her head, she turned away to look out the window, uneasy in the presence of the sexuality he exuded with no apparent effort at all. “No, he didn’t rape me. He caught me at my apartment one night, though, after work. He wouldn’t leave and wouldn’t let me leave. I spent over an hour trying to escape, reasoning with him and fighting him until one of my neighbors came home and heard my screams. I needed stitches in my leg and had a broken wrist by the time my neighbor broke the door down. Eugene went out the sliding door and jumped off my balcony and escaped.” She purposely spoke in a monotone in an attempt to keep the horror of that night from her voice. Hearing the door open, Brenna spun, her jaw dropping to see the most gorgeous man she’d ever seen in her life come into the room, closing the door behind him. If his looks hadn’t been enough, the power in his eyes and in his graceful walk made it impossible not to stare. Realizing her mouth had dropped open, she snapped it shut, struggling to appear unaffected. He looked to be about the same height as King, but the similarities ended there. Instead of being heavily muscled, he was whipcord lean. Instead of the hard, almost primitive presence of King, this man oozed sex and

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sophisticationevery movement filled with grace and seduction. His hair, black as midnight, hung well past his shoulders in curls she never would have considered sexy on a man until now. His smile, all white teeth and charm, and green eyes sparkling with male interest as they raked over her, made her weak in the knees. “Well, hello.” He glanced at King, frowning when he looked back at her, his eyes narrowing. “What’s going on? Sebastian said there might be trouble.” King never took his eyes from her, his expression thoughtful. With his arms crossed over his massive chest, he lowered himself onto the arm of a nearby chair, eyeing her in concern. Anger still swirled in his eyes, along with something else she couldn’t quite identify. “This is Brenna Nelson. She’s the woman that Eugene Donner was fixated on. She came by to tell us what bastards we are by condoning his behavior. Red, this is Royce Harley, another one of the owners of Club Desire.” To her shock, Royce rushed over to her and took her hands in his. “Are you all right? Did he hurt you? We knew he was obsessed with a woman, but didn’t know who.” Alarmed at the wave of heat that raced up her arms, Brenna yanked her hands out of his grasp and took several steps back. “I’m fine now, no thanks to you people.” She eyed them both scornfully. “I hope you take this seriously now and close this place down. It’s nothing but trouble. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be going.” She didn’t care for the fact that their concern had her softening toward them, not when she’d carried her rage for so long. Finding herself drawn to them hadn’t been in her plans at all. The need to get out of here as quickly as possible had her scrambling for the door. “Please don’t ever make another woman deal with what I had to deal with.” King came to his feet and blocked her, his eyes unreadable. “I’m sorry for what you had to go through, but you’ve got us all wrong. You’ve had your say, and now I’d like to tell you our side. I’d like to explain some things to you.” With both men moving closer and eyeing her in the strangest way, she sidestepped King and moved toward the door.

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“I really don’t want to hear anything you have to say. As far as I’m concerned, you’ve done enough!” Royce scowled and took a seat at one end of the sofa. “Our sheriff is the one who caught him. We’ve been looking for that son of a bitch for months. He’s been causing trouble here, too, and hurt a couple of women. He told the sheriff that he was mad as hell at the people in this town because a woman he wanted rejected him. He resented the people who live the kind of life here he thought he wanted. It turns out he didn’t understand us at all. He saw what he wanted to see and that’s it.” He smiled coldly, his brow lifted in challenge. It seems you and he have a lot in common after all.” Knowing damned well that she was being manipulated didn’t take the sting out of his words. Storming back across the room, her hands fisted at her sides, she railed at him. “I’m nothing like him! I’m the victim here, remember, not you. Don’t try to make it my fault that those other women got hurt. Blame yourselves for creating a monster.” Damn it, as much as she knew it hadn’t been her fault at all, she felt terrible that other women had been hurt because of Donner’s anger with her. Blowing out a breath, she turned to find King staring at her. “How badly were they hurt?” King gestured toward the other end of the sofa from where Royce sat, a strong hand at her back guiding her to it. “Considering that he hit the sheriff’s wife with his truck and threw a Molotov cocktail through the window of the women’s club when they were having a demonstration, not bad. We were very lucky. Thank God. Still, they were hurt, not something we take lightly in Desire.” Stunned at how much trouble her stalker had caused, Brenna dropped onto the sofa, holding herself stiffly as King took a seat in a leather chair across from her. “He was deranged.” King inclined his head, fisting his hands at his sides. “Yes, he was. We knew he was dangerous, and that’s why we kept him on.”

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Brenna frowned, disappointed in them just when she’d begun to think they really cared about the damage Donner had done. “So, you liked the fact that he wanted to hurt women. I knew it. Any men who would own a place like this must really hate women. I’m sure he fit right in. You people make me sick.” She shot to her feet with the intention of getting the hell out of here before she threw something at their heads, but King moved fast for such a large man and caught her before she could even take a step. With fire in his eyes, he gripped her upper arms. “I don’t appreciate being judged by a woman who doesn’t know the first thing about me.” Royce came to his feet, no longer smiling. “Or what we do here. We kept Donner close to watch him. We all talked to him over and over about the way to treat women, and Blade, our partner, even went out to meet with him. We were afraid that he would be a danger to women in the club in Virginia, and even went so far as to warn the owners there.” King gestured toward the sofa, leading her back to it. As she sat, he braced a hand on the arm and loomed over her. “We knew that there was a woman he was fixated on, but we didn’t know who you were. We’re very sorry that you had to go through that. We do not promote abusing women.” Breathing a sigh of relief when King stepped back, and watching the play of muscle as he perched on the arm of the chair across from her, Brenna fisted her hands on her lap. “You’re Doms, right?” Even if she didn’t know that they owned this place, she would know that they were. Something about their presence reminded her of the Dominants she’d met back in Virginia. It was in their posture, in their eyes, and in the way they looked at a woman, as though not wanting to miss a single weakness that they could exploit at their leisure. The confidence, and arrogance, couldn’t be mistaken. King inclined his head. “We are.” Expecting that answer, and the cool tone, Brenna nodded. “So, are you going to try to tell me that you don’t use whips on women? You don’t hit them? Hurt them? Isn’t that how you get your kicks?” Royce shot to his feet, but King waved him back, the calculating gleam in his eyes sending off all sorts of red flags. “If you’re really curious, I’ll be

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happy to answer all your questions, but I’m not about to sit here and argue with you when you’ve already made up your closed mind about us and what we do here.” The disappointment and censure in his tone made her feel like a heel, but remembering Donner and his cruelty infuriated her all over again. “I’m not buying it.” She jumped when Royce came close and squatted down in front of her, stiffening when he ran his fingers over the back of her hands in a caress she assumed should have felt nonthreatening. Alarmed at the rivulets of heat that ran up her arm, she forced herself to remain still, shaken by his intense stare and the cool calculation in his eyes. Royce smiled knowingly and ran his fingers up her arm, sharpening the tingling sensation. “I’m afraid I’d have to agree with King. If you really want to understand, we’ll be glad to answer all of your questions.” He lifted a finger when she started to speak. But, we’d like to show you. That’s the only way you’d truly understand. The only way you’ll be able to see the way we live is to experience it for yourself.Brenna pulled her hand away and scooted as far as she could away from him. “Sure. Sign me up and make me pay an exorbitant amount of money for you and all your customers to beat me. I don’t care what you call it, it’s just an excuse to hurt a woman. Even those men in the club carried whips with them. The women thought it was sexy. I didn’t.” Hoping he didn’t see the lie in her eyes, she lifted her chin, silently daring him to call her a liar. Royce’s gaze sharpened, his eyes becoming the deepest green she’d ever seen. “So, you’re a submissive? Do you go to clubs regularly? Do you belong to someone?” Bristling at the bite in his tone, she shot to her feet and started forward, only to have King come to his feet and block her again. Belong to someone? What’s with you people and that belonging crap? I don’t belong to anyone and I only went to that club once. And no, I’m not a submissive and I don’t ever plan to be. Frankly, I just don’t get why any woman would want to be.”

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Royce came to his feet and moved in behind her, the fingers he ran up and down her arm making her shiver. “Maybe you are. Maybe you’re not. Maybe you don’t want to know for sure because you’re afraid of the answer. You went to that club for a reason.” “That’s ridiculous.” She jerked out of his hold and started for the door, both relieved and disappointed when neither man made a move to stop her. “Just because you’re surrounded by women who let you do what you want to them, you think every woman you meet is the same. I’m not. I think you’re all assholes.” Proud of her exit line, she turned the knob and yanked, cursing when it didn’t budge. Whirling, she fumed. “Open the fucking door and let me the hell out of here.” King took the seat she’d just vacated, leaning back as though he had nothing in the world better to do and lacing his fingers over his flat stomach. “I want to say something first, and I have a proposition for you. Once you hear me out, I’ll unlock the door.” Looking from one to the other, Brenna shook her head, unsure of her ability to resist any proposition either one of them might make. “No. I don’t want to hear anything you have to say.” Royce shook his head and shared a look with King. “She sounds just like Donner. Not willing to listen to anyone.” Brenna stamped her foot, so furious she could barely speak. How dare you compare me to him? I’m nothing like him. You’re turning this all around.” Both men eyed her steadily, neither saying a word. When it became apparent that they would willingly sit there all day, she blew out an angry breath and moved to the chair across from them, plopping into it. “Fine. Talk. But then you promise to let me out?” King inclined his head. “That’s one of the first things a sub has to learn. Trust. Trust is a fragile, but incredibly strong bond between a Dom and his sub. We won’t ever lie to you and you can trust that we will do whatever we say we’ll do. We don’t make idle threats and we keep our promises.” Brenna got an uneasy feeling in the pit of her stomach. Waving her hand negligently, she looked away. “I’ll take that as a yes. Now, say what you have to say so I can get out of here. I’ve got to find a new place to live and a

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new job because of all this mess. Everyone knows I went to that club and I’m too embarrassed to go home.” The longer she stayed here, the more intrigued she became, something she wanted to avoid at all costs. She wanted to forget her curiosity and desire for something she fantasized about, and go back to normal. Their attentiveness unnerved her. They both watched her closely, their eyes sharp and filled with something that made her heart beat faster. They shifted their weight when she moved in a certain way, their gazes narrowing when she wrapped her arms around herself. She’d dated men who didn’t pay as much attention to her. It made it difficult to keep the emotional distance from them she needed, each word, each gesture drawing her in. Each time their eyes met, she sucked in a breath at the promise in theirs of something she would never forget. The sexual tension in the room could be cut with a knife. It was as if they saw something inside her, something private, something she’d tried for years to keep hidden. She didn’t want to acknowledge it, but found it harder and harder to keep her poise as her awareness of them continued to grow. She pictured herself naked with Royce, and then King, wondering which one of them she would choose if given the chance. Startled at her thoughts, she sucked in a breath and focused, unsurprised to find both of them staring at her intently. “Well?” King smiled. “I was just waiting until I had your attention. That must have been some daydream. Your cheeks are flushed and your eyes went a little unfocused.” Sitting back, he eyed her steadily. “We don’t abuse women. As a matter of fact, we take pride in pleasuring womendominating them.” The emphasis he placed on the word dominating sent a warmth flowing through her, one that seemed to center between her thighs. Alarmed that the mental image of kneeling at his feet, she cleared her throat, her smile full of scorn. “Sure you do. You just beat them until they do whatever you want them to do.”

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King’s eyes cooled considerably. “It’s apparent you have no idea what you’re talking about. You’re letting one asshole form your opinion. I’d like to make you a proposition. You said you lost your job because of this guy. Stay here with us. You can send out resumes while you’re here. Your room and board are free, but in return, I want you to give us a chance to show you what we’re talking about. Let us train you.” Brenna crossed her arms over her chest to hide her beaded nipples, panic-stricken at the leap of desire that coursed through her veins. “I have no desire to be trained as a submissive, thank you very much. Now, unlock the door and let me out of here.” King started shaking his head before she’d even finished. “No. I’m not done. I wasn’t talking about training you as a submissive. I’m talking about training you as a Dominant. That way, you can see what we teach and understand that it’s all about pleasure and trust.” Intrigued, Brenna tilted her head. “I don’t trust you.” King inclined his head. “You have no reason to trust me. Trust has to be earned.” Forcing back the mental image of turning herself over to him and letting him do what he wished with her, Brenna stood, too restless to sit any longer. “So, if I’m a Dominant, I’ll be doing things to another person. You? Are you going to be my submissive?” King smiled coldly. “I don’t bottom. Ever. And you’re not touching another man. Would you like a woman to top?” Brenna shook her head, staring out the window. “I’ve never had any desire to touch another woman.” Turning, she smiled. “So, I guess your plan’s out of the question. Now, let me out of here, or I’m calling the sheriff.” Royce smiled disarmingly. “I don’t think King’s finished.” King eyed her thoughtfully. “No, I’m not. I think the best way to do this is for you to top yourself.” Brenna blinked, her anger dissipating more with every wild statement they made, her mind racing in all sorts of directions. “What? How is that even possible?”

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King came to his feet and approached slowly, giving her the feeling of being stalked. “We’ll train you on yourself. You don’t even have to worry about us touching you. We won’t touch you anywhere except your hands, unless we have to catch you or help you into a better position.” Confused, Brenna glanced at Royce, who stood and approached from the other side. “So I’m supposed to whip myself?” Royce sighed. “You’re really stuck on the whip, aren’t you? Interesting. Okay, we’ll progress to the whip, but not until you’re ready. By the time we get there, you’ll understand how pain can bring pleasure.” Backing away, she shook her head, not stupid enough to believe such an outrageous thing. “Pain can never bring pleasure.” King grinned. “Yes, it can. A great deal of pleasure. And we’re willing to show you. No charge, and you get room and board and a chance to look for a job while you’re learning. While you’re here, we’ll see what we can do to convince you that we’re telling the truth about Donner.” Royce tucked a strand of hair behind her shoulder. “We don’t want you leaving here thinking that Dominants are like him. Sure, there are assholes, just like everywhere else, but beating women is not what this is about. In Desire, especially, any man abusing a woman gets run out of town.” Brenna lifted her chin and took another step back. “How do I know I can trust you?” King reached behind the curtain and pushed a button, and with a small smile, gestured toward the door. “You’re free to go, Red. Like I said, trust has to be earned. Talk to people around here. Talk to the sheriff. Talk to whoever you want to talk to. Just don’t go around telling people that we beat women and teach others to do the same if you don’t have the courage to see what this lifestyle is all about, or to prove that we’re telling the truth.” Royce led her to the door, opened it, and ushered her through to the hallway. “You intrigue us. I’d like to have the chance to see more of you and to teach you about our lifestyle. It infuriates me that Donner hurt you and scared you. That’s not what this is all about. Think about it, Brenna. We’ll be waiting in the hotel dining room at seven. We’ll answer any questions you have then.”

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Brenna had no idea why she would even considering going along with their plan. Royce and King were dangerous and could change her life. The smartest thing she could do would be to get the hell away from them as soon as possible. She didn’t for one minute believe that a man or woman could get pleasure from being hurt, or being ordered around, and nothing they could say or do would ever convince her otherwise. “Don’t bother. I won’t be there.” Royce turned her and wrapped his arms around her from behind, his soft laugh against her ear sending shivers through her. “Yes, you will. You’re too passionate, too curious, and too headstrong to walk away without even knowing what you’re missing. You’d never be able to live with yourself if you walked away from the chance to satisfy the curiosity and hunger raging inside you.Struggling against the wave of longing that weakened her knees, Brenna tightened her fists at her sides. Trembling at the authority in his soft tone, and the tingling awareness everywhere his body touched hers, she stiffened and pushed his arms away, missing his warmth almost immediately. “No. I won’t be there.” “Afraid we’ll prove you wrong?” After stepping out the front door, she turned and lifted her chin, shaken by the desire gleaming in his eyes. “I’m right and you know it. Hurting women turns you on, but you’ll never convince me that any woman could enjoy that.” Royce smiled slowly. “Are you afraid that you’d like it too much? What were you doing in a club like ours if you weren’t at least curious?” Feeling more secure now that she was outside, Brenna shrugged and told him the truth. “It was a bachelorette party for one of my friends. The club has a night open once a month for people who want to learn more. My friend wanted to go, and because the idea intrigued me, I went to the party. That’s where I met Donner, who assumed that I was there because I was a submissive. Asshole.” Royce leaned against the doorway, his green eyes hooded and unreadable.

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“Aren’t you still intrigued? Wouldn’t you like the opportunity to ask whatever questions you want to ask and see what it feels like to both be a Dom and a sub?” Forcing back the heat of lust that slammed into her, Brenna shook her head. “No.” She had to get out of here. Royce reached out to touch her hair when she turned away. “So we’ve been tried and convicted without even getting a chance to show you how wrong you are? We’ll be waiting. Seven o’clock.” Brushing her hair aside, he nipped her earlobe, sending a jolt of heat straight to her slit. “Seven sharp, Beautiful.” Sucking in a breath, she flattened a hand on her stomach to settle the butterflies. After several seconds spent struggling to will her senses to settle, she opened her eyes and turned to find he’d gone back inside. Cursing, she went down the steps and started across the parking lot to her car. They could take their proposition and shove it up their asses. Feeling better, Brenna got in her car and drove off, determined to forget all about Donner, and the bastards who encouraged him, and to get on with her life. She could live with the curiosity and the hunger he’d somehow known about. The last thing she needed were two more arrogant men to screw up her

life.

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Chapter Two

It appeared her life would indeed be screwed up for a while. The realization hit her when she went back to her hotel and found a plain white envelope taped to her door. Thinking it might be from someone at the hotel, she opened it, her heart pounding furiously when she read the short note.

So you think you can escape me?

The note from Donner left her shaken. Faced with the very real possibility that Donner had somehow gotten out of jail and found her, Brenna left the hotel without even going inside her room. She knew he wouldn’t have left the note if he’d been inside—he’d want to scare her when she walked inbut the possibility of him coming to the door later scared her enough to flee. Shaken, and unsure about what to do, she walked briskly to the center of town where all the businesses were located. One thing she’d learned about Donner over the months she’d spent trying to get rid of him was that he was a coward. He’d always run at any sign of trouble, so she knew he wouldn’t dare attack her with so many witnesses around. She counted on the presence of the people shopping and walking up and down the sidewalk to keep her safe while she figured out what to do. After several passes up and down Main Street, she became aware of curious looks following her and started to duck into stores to allay any suspicions. Curious, and weighing her options, she began to casually ask the people who worked in the stores if they knew Royce and King. Everyone she spoke to did, not surprising in such a small town.

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What did surprise her, though, was that everyone she spoke to sang their praises, telling her of their kindness and generosity. Everyone she spoke to seemed to respect them and have a general fondness for them, almost a protectiveness that kept them cool until she mentioned that they’d invited her to dinner and she didn’t know them very well. After that, none of the people she spoke to seemed to have any trouble assuring her that Royce and King were fine men who could be trusted. After several stops, their comments almost sounded like a sales pitch, but men and women alike all appeared to admire them. While sitting at the diner drinking coffee, she overheard the conversation of two women sitting behind her, two women who apparently didn’t live in Desire. “Oh, if I wasn’t a married woman, I’d move here in a heartbeat. Can you imagine what it must be like to live in a place where women were so appreciated and cared for?” “Yeah.” The other woman’s heartfelt sigh held such longing that Brenna sat up straighter to better eavesdrop. “I lived here for about six months, hoping to catch Blade Royal’s eye, but as soon as Kelly came to town, it was obvious he only had eyes for her. While I lived here, though, I couldn’t get over how the men watched out for the women. Women can even be out at night here, and not get accosted on the street. It was wonderful!” “Tell me. How do they watch over them?” The excitement in the woman’s voice couldn’t be mistaken. “It’s soooo sexy. It’s like they all feel they have a duty to keep women safe here. Everyone seemed to know my namelike they have some kind of file or something. I remember one time I got a flat tire on the road out of town. A man I’d never seen before stopped to change it. Wouldn’t you know, Lucas Hart happened to be driving by and stopped? He watched the other man like a hawk, asking him who he was and explaining to me that the man who’d stopped didn’t live in Desire. After the other man left, he lectured me about the dangers in dealing with strange men, and things I should have done differently. God, that man’s intimidating. I can only imagine what he and his friends would be like with a woman they wanted for their own.”

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“Yeah, I’ve heard about those three. It sounds like she’d have to be tough as hell to deal with them.” The other woman laughed. “The same could be said about a woman who eventually takes on Royce and King. Holy hell. Those two are intimidating, too, and so damned sexy it’s ridiculous.” “So why the hell did you ever leave?” “I got transferred and married Roy. Sometimes, though, I can’t help wishing…Oh well. We’d better go. I still have a little more shopping to do

and I have to get home to start dinner. I want to hurry so I have time to drive by the Erickson ranch. A glimpse of Clay or Rio working with the horses would just make my day!” Brenna waited until the other women left before she did. She walked some more, and somehow ended up in front of the hotel shortly after seven, where she’d paced back and forth for several minutes, already knowing what she would do. When the door opened yet again, Brenna hurriedly straightened and ducked back around the side of the doorway to the restaurant. Her stomach rumbled again, reminding her that she’d had nothing to eat all day. She drew

a deep breath, holding a hand to her stomach as she let it out slowly, telling

herself for about the tenth time that she should just get back into her car and drive out of town. If she did that, she didn’t know where she would go, and might have to end up facing Donner alone. Deciding it would be smarter to stay where she felt relatively safe, she peeked around the corner again. She hadn’t expected King and Royce to still be here, and yet they sat in

a back corner, apparently waiting for her. It was twenty minutes after seven and they looked as if they’d been waiting for some time. If the fresh drinks they’d just ordered were any indication, they planned to wait even longer. She’d had no intention of ever seeing them again after she’d walked

away this afternoon, and yet here she stood, some of her reasons having nothing at all to do with Donner. Curiosity killed the cat. The phrase went through her mind again and again, almost making her turn away.

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Damn it, she wanted to know. After asking about them in town, she’d heard that, not only could she trust them, but every woman she talked to seemed to wish they could have a night with King and Royce, who remained elusive. Learning that they didn’t sleep with every woman who came along made them even sexier and more desirable to her—something she hadn’t thought possible. After what she’d heard in town, she’d begun to believe them about Donner. They’d keep her safe from him. More than that, though, she couldn’t resist the chance to see them again. Taking another deep breath, she wrapped her cardigan more firmly around herself and stepped into the restaurant. Surprised that both men saw her almost immediately and rose to their feet, she almost tripped. King strode across the restaurant toward her, waving off another smiling man, a tall, handsome blond who’d started toward her. His eyes never left hers as he strode past the other man, his deep voice carrying across the restaurant. “She’s with us, Ethan.” The other man smiled. “That figures. It was too much to hope for that you’d been stood up and I would get to entertain this beauty.” He grinned and offered his hand, but King was already whisking her away. “Hey! Come on. Have a heart.Brenna found herself the object of several speculative looks as they crossed the restaurant, looks that became even more curious when King led her to their table. Taking the chair that Royce held out, she stilled when his warm breath teased her neck. “You smell delicious.” King took the seat to her right, while Royce took the one on her left. Taking a deep breath, she stared at the candle in the center of the table, wondering how to begin. Trembling with nerves, she dropped her purse on to the floor and laced her fingers together, wincing when her ring dug into her finger. “I wasn’t going to come. I’m not quite sure why I did.” Royce sat forward, taking her hand, and loosening her fingers to lace them with his. “You’re here and that’s all that matters. I appreciate that

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you’re giving us a chance to show you that abuse is not something we take lightly. I hope that while you’re here, you’ll talk to the women who live in this town. Some of them are very much into the lifestyle, and enjoy submitting to their husbands.” A little surprised at that, Brenna sat back and pulled her hand from his, finding it hard to concentrate with sizzling awareness racing through her. She’d thought herself prepared to face them again, figuring much of her response to them had been because she’d been unprepared. This time, she’d been prepared, but it hadn’t lessened the effect either one of them had on her at all. Clearing her throat, she looked from one to the other. “You mean for sex, right?” King eyed her thoughtfully. “It depends. It’s all up to the people involved. Most of the men around here are very strict with their women in some areas, but are firmly wrapped around their wives’ fingers in others. It’s all a matter of choice. For example, Royce and I want a woman who would understand that her submission wouldn’t end when we left the bedroom, or the playroom.” Stunned by the sudden desire to be that woman, Brenna looked away. “I’m not sure I understand what you mean.” King shrugged, keeping his voice just above a whisper. “For example, you were late. You kept us waiting. If you belonged to us, that would earn you a form of punishment.” His gaze sharpened. “Unless there was a good reason, of course. Otherwise I’d see it as a bid for attention, or an effort to defy me. Either way, you’d get punished.” “Punished?” Mortified that she’d blurted it out louder than she’d intended, and several heads turned in her direction, Brenna lowered her eyes and began to play with her napkin. Her face burned and she wondered how many of the people sitting at the surrounding tables would think that she belonged to either Royce or King, and would now be getting some sort of punishment. Inwardly cursing at her own weakness, she glared back at the people who stared at her, until they turned away. Shaking her head, she looked back at King. “I knew it was a mistake to come here.” She should have just driven away…and always wondered.

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Even without Donner, that alone would have been reason enough to stay. Royce shot a warning look at King, who blithely ignored it. His eyes sharpened and narrowed, the look of a man who saw too much. “It wasn’t a mistake, Brenna. You followed your instincts. King was just trying to answer your question. The level of submission depends on the people involved. There’s no right or wrong, as long as all involved give their full consent. The most important thing is that everyone involved is happy.” Brenna blinked. “Wait a minute. Are you trying to tell me that when you men beat a woman, it’s because it makes them happy? He’d only hit her with her consent?” Royce smiled and, with a graceful flick of his wrist, waved away the waitress who’d started toward them. “In a manner of speaking. He couldn’t—wouldn’t—do it if she used her safe word.” She looked from one to the other, unused to and uncomfortable with their attention. She’d never thought to shy away from any conversation, and had spoken about this a number of times with friends, but talking about it with two Doms made her more insecure than she could have imagined. It also made the conversation more intense than others she’d had dealing with the same subject. She couldn’t let them know of her interest, beyond that of making sure they didn’t condone behavior like Donner’s, but she couldn’t resist the opportunity to find out more about this lifestylefrom men who could give her real answers. For years she’d fantasized about having a man take over, one who would force pleasure on her even as she fought it, something she did with annoying regularity. She’d love to be the object of a man’s desire, to have a man who liked to experiment with sex instead of allowing it to become mundane and boring. She couldn’t, though, come to terms with the idea of being hit. Clearing her throat, she forced herself to look at them. “I’ve heard of safe words before. I find it hard to believe that a woman wouldn’t just use it at the first sign of trouble and walk away. Why let herself get abused? It doesn’t make sense.” Royce’s jaw hardened, his eyes turning cold, but still patient. “It’s not abuse.”

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Brenna smiled coldly. “Sure, it’s not. So, you’re telling me that as soon as a woman used her safe word, you would stop whatever you were doing to her? That’s it? You’d stop right then and there, and let her go?” Royce nodded immediately. “Absolutely. And then I would be mad at myself for taking her further than she was prepared to go. It’s very important for a Dom to know his subs limitations. I’d take that as a failure on my part.” Intrigued by that, Brenna settled more comfortably in her seat. “You would?” She believed him. The seriousness of his expression surprised her. More curious by the minute, she leaned forward. “How would a Dom be expected to know his…a woman’s limitations?” Royce smiled and ran a finger over her hand, his eyes never leaving hers. “He pays attention. Very close attention.” His voice lowered, taking on a seductive quality that made her nipples bead even tighter. “If it was our woman, I’d be furious with myself. A man needs a close bond with the woman he makes his own.” Mesmerized by the male interest in his deep green eyes, she shivered at his touch, wondering how many other women he’d treated this way. Every word, every gesture spoke of elegance and strength, the air of sophistication surrounding him leaving her unsettled and needy. The knowledge in his eyes and the sharp scrutiny in them as he studied her unsettled her even more. The fact that this man knew his way around a woman’s body, and probably knew more about pleasing one than any man she’d ever met, shone in his eyes. It captivated her, making her yearn to experience it for herself. Her gaze lowered involuntarily to his hands, the mental image of them moving over her body making her shiver in delight. Long, tapered fingers that would move expertly over her skin held her attention, the fluidness in his movements as he lifted his glass of wine to his lips making her skin tingle in awareness. Forcing herself to look away, she accepted the menu from the waitress who’d appeared when Brenna hadn’t been paying attention, and hurriedly opened it, sparing a glance at King. Fidgeting under his stare, she watched as he waved away the menu the waitress offered, his eyes never leaving hers. Waiting until the other woman

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left before speaking, Brenna kept her voice low, sneaking glances at his hands and trying not to imagine them heating the skin of her bottom. Knowing she shouldn’t ask, she asked anyway, unable to resist. “What did you mean by punishment?” His lips twitched, a brow going up. “That, too, depends on the people involved. You seem to have a lot of questions. We’ll be glad to answer them if you accept our offer.” He shrugged and smiled at the waitress when she brought a basket of fragrant bread, not reacting at all to the waitress’s flirtatious grin. “If not, you’re not interested enough for me to take the time to answer them.” Royce gave King another of those looks, before glancing at her. “What King means is that—” “She knows what I mean.” King leaned toward her, crowding her space. “If Red here wants to be assured that we aren’t in the business of hurting women, she’ll accept our offer and find out for herself. If she’s not willing to go the distance to find out, she isn’t all that concerned and is just being nosy.” Bristling, Brenna glared at him from above her menu. “That’s ridiculous. If you didn’t have anything to hide, you would have no trouble answering my questions.” He jerked the menu out of her hands, startling her, and leaned close. “Don’t hide behind the menu. I’ve already told you that I would be happy to answer your questions, but we’ll do it my way. I have nothing to hide. You, on the other hand, seem to have plenty.” Her stomach clenched, a cold knot forming. “What do you mean?” Setting the menu aside, King sat back, eyeing her thoughtfully. “Why did you go to that club? Curiosity?” He leaned closer, running his finger up and down her arm and creating a riot of tingling awareness through her. “Have you ever fantasized about surrendering yourself to another man?” “No!” Brenna jerked her arm away, alarmed at the image of surrendering herself to him, and the sharp stab of arousal that went with it. King clicked his tongue. “Remember what I said about trust. It’s vital in this kind of relationship. You’re a liar. You’ve fantasized about submitting. There’s nothing to be ashamed of. Is that why you went to that club? To see

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what it was like? I’m surprised they let you in. Did you know someone there?” Brenna sighed. “Nothing that dramatic. The club near my home has kind of an open house every month. It’s for people who want to dip their toes in the water, so to speak, but it’s also for fun. A friend of mine was getting married, and she wanted to have her bachelorette party there. The members are all invited, but my understanding is that it’s very different from a usual night there. There’s a lot of talk and flirting, but clothes don’t come off and no one goes to another room. The owners chaperone and make sure nothing gets out of hand.” Royce nodded thoughtfully. “She told me about it earlier. I think it’s a great idea. We might just have to do something like that here.” Brenna turned to him, inordinately pleased that he liked the idea. “It was a lot of fun. We knew we were safe there, and that there was no chance of being accosted. We learned a lot. The members that wanted to go that night seemed happy to answer our questionsunlike some people.” Her smile fell at the memory of how that night ended. “Everything was fine until Donner decided that since I was there, I was looking for a man to dominate me. It got ugly after that. He made a scene and the owners ended up throwing him out. I found out later that he was waiting outside and followed me home. That’s when he started harassing me.” Royce covered her hand. “He contacted us, and as soon as we met him, we knew he had the wrong idea about all of this. We tried to get him to understand. We talked to him until we were blue in the face, chatted with him online, anything we could to get through to him. Hell, Blade went out to talk to him when he started talking about a woman rejecting him. Blade went to that club and warned the others about him.” King’s face hardened. “They kicked him out. We would have kicked him out of ours, but we thought we could make him see reason before he hurt someone. He was never allowed to be alone with a woman while he was with us.” He stood abruptly and turned away. “Order me a steak. I’ll be back in a minute.” Surprised at his show of anger, Brenna watched him walk away, his long strides carrying him across the restaurant and out the door in seconds. When she could no longer see him, she turned to Royce. “Your friend seems really angry.”

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Royce’s eyes hardened. “We’re all furious about this. We talked to Blade earlier and told him about you and he’s beside himself. We care very much for our women in Desire, and our club reflects that. There are laws in this town that we all abide by, not only because it’s the law, but because that’s the way we choose to live. We value our women very much here. Donner’s actions go against everything we believe in.” His lips twitched. “That’s one of the things that make Club Desire very popular. The women know how well they’ll be treated and respected here. We have a waiting list for submissives who want to come here. There are many who come every year when they take vacation from worka chance to live the fantasy of being the object of another man’s desire—to be put through their paces at the whim of a man learning all he can about dominating a woman.” Royce sighed. “We teach here. We have classes for men who have no one else to askmen who have the need to dominate, but don’t know how to go about it, or aren’t even sure what they want. We have men here from all walks of life, some who just want answers. We have others who know what they’re doing and have been doing it for a long time, but either haven’t found a woman they want to be with yet, or aren’t interested in having a permanent partner. But, Brenna, none of them are ever allowed to abuse a woman here. Even King, Blade, and I would be run out of town if we did that, or allowed it. We adore women here. We protect them at all costsin the club, and in the town.” Brenna shook her head. “I’ve heard that women are protected here, but I have a hard time believing you could beat a woman and still claim to want to protect them.” Royce nodded. “It’s not something that’s easy to comprehend, but it’s true. Why don’t you take us up on our offer and find out?” Lifting his hand, he motioned to the waitress, who stood several feet away, apparently waiting for a signal from him to approach. By the time they’d finished ordering, King had returned, looking a little calmer. “I called Blade. Kelly’s resting.” Royce stiffened. “Everything all right?” Chuckling, King took a sip of the fresh beer the waitress placed in front of him. “Blade said they went to the doctor today and everything looks fine.

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He’s a nervous wreck, though, and it sounds like he’s not letting Kelly out of his sight.” Brenna reached for her water. “Who’s Kelly?” Royce smiled, but his eyes held concern. “Kelly is Blade’s wife. She’s pregnant again, but she’s had two miscarriages already. Blade is doing his best to wrap her in cotton and keep her calm until the baby’s born. The miscarriages really took a toll on both of them.” Frowning, Brenna looked at each of them in turn. “How can a man who’s married work in a club like yours? Doesn’t his wife mind that he cheats on her?” King scowled. “Blade doesn’t cheat on Kelly. Do you think we have sex with all the women who come in there?” Brenna blinked, not sure she believed that men working in such a place would be able to resist all the opportunities that must be thrown at them. “Not all, but at least with some of them.” Royce laughed softly. “I’d never get any work done. I’ll admit to taking my pleasure here and there, but I don’t fuck indiscriminately. We guide. We teach. We provide a service. We run a business, Brenna.” Shaking her head, Brenna traced a drop of moisture down her glass. “Okay, then. I have to admit I have no idea what your proposition entails. What, exactly, do you mean about teaching me how to dominate? Will I be watching you teach men what to do to a woman?” King shook his head. “No. Our customers and students value their privacy. Confidentiality is very important. Royce and I will be working with you alone.” “Both of you?” Royce smiled. “Something you might not know is that King and I share women. Ménage relationships are prevalent in Desire. Although you don’t belong to us, for the time you’re here, we’ll both be working with you.” Brenna sucked in a breath, rubbing her thighs together against the throbbing ache that steadily got worse. Thrilled that she wouldn’t have to choose between them, she found her pulse racing at the thought of being naked with both of them, a thought that aroused her so much she had trouble sitting still.

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Part of her wanted to pinch herself to make sure she wasn’t dreaming, but another part of her trembled in trepidation, not exactly sure what all of this would mean. She had to take another sip of her water to ease her dry throat before she could ask. “How would that work?” King leaned forward. “We’d teach you how to dominate yourself. You’d be the subject and we would show you what we show other men.” Not sure she understood, she stared down at the table, moving her silverware. “Would you touch me? Would I have to be naked?” Royce shared a look with King again before answering. “At first, we would only touch your hands, and help guide you. Yes, you would be naked, but not at first. We’ll go as slowly as you need to go. After that, it’s up to you, perhaps a little further each day until you decide you don’t want to do it anymore.” “I can stop anytime I want to?” She couldn’t believe she might actually be doing this and wondered if her brain had taken a leave of absence. It sounded innocent enough, and she had to admit she was more intrigued now than she’d been when she’d arrived. She also couldn’t ignore the unexpected flood of arousal that seemed to grow stronger by the minute. She’d begun fantasizing about being dominated for years, but that was all it had ever been—fantasy. She’d toyed with the idea and had even made a few hints to her last boyfriend, but after a few halfhearted efforts that did nothing to satisfy her, sex had gone back to normal. She yearned to make the fantasy come true, if only for a little while, but after the trouble she’d had with Donner, fear had held her back. She’d wanted it, but she’d never needed it the way she did since meeting Royce and King. Royce smiled, a smile filled with anticipation. “You’ll have a safe word.” She didn’t know why, but she trusted them, and their offer seemed like the answer to her dreams. She could find out all she wanted to know, to make sure that they weren’t urging men to abuse women, and at the same time, possibly explore a little of her own desires, desires she’d keep private.

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Royce and King would never have to know about her little fantasies, fantasies she could keep hidden while assuring herself that they weren’t encouraging men to act like Donner. She wouldn’t feel comfortable, though, until she told them about the note and what it could mean. Brenna drew in a deep breath and let it out slowly. “I have something to tell you that might change your mind about getting mixed up with me.” Royce smiled and touched her hand. “There aren’t that many things you could tell me that would make any difference. What is it?” Bending, she retrieved her purse and drew out the white envelope. “I found this taped to the door of my room here when I got back from seeing you this afternoon.” Royce took the envelope, his eyes narrowing as he slipped the small piece of paper out. His eyes widened, turning to green ice as he read it. With a curse, he covered her hand with his and held the note out to King. “That son of a bitch.” Coming to his feet, Royce moved behind her, rubbing her shoulder. “I’ve got to make a call.” From her other side, King cursed soundly and jerked Brenna out of her chair and onto his lap as though Eugene Donner would pop out any minute and attack her. Drawing the attention of the nearby patrons in the crowded restaurant didn’t seem to bother him at all. The smiles from the other customers surprised her, though, as though many of them were already used to the antics of the men in Desire. Embarrassed to be the center of all the attention, Brenna pushed at the restraining hand he pressed against her stomach. “King! You’re making a scene.” “Too bad. Stay put.” Royce slid a hand over her hair before turning away. “I’m calling Ace. See what Ethan has to say. Maybe they got him on camera.” “I hope so.” A grim-faced King lifted his hand to get the attention of the waitress, who hurried over, her smile falling when he asked for Ethan. As soon as the waitress left, Brenna leaned close, a flash of warmth going through her when King immediately turned toward her and tightened his hold. “King, people are staring. Donner’s not here. Let me up.”

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The hard muscles in his thighs tightened and shifted as he adjusted her position on his lap. “Let ’em stare. You’re fine right where you are.” The blond man she’d seen when she walked in approached, sobering when he saw King’s scowl. “What’s wrong?” King gestured toward Brenna’s vacant chair. “Sit down. Look at this.” Lowering himself into the chair, Ethan picked up the small piece of paper and frowned. “I don’t understand.” Lifting his head, he eyed Brenna, and then King. “What’s this about? Who wrote this?” King leaned forward, his arms tight around Brenna. “We think it’s from Eugene Donner.” Ethan’s eyes went wide. “They guy who’s been causing all the trouble around here? I thought Ace arrested him. Is he out on bail? Did he escape? Did they let him go?” Shaking his head, King sighed. “Royce is on the phone to Ace right now. Brenna Nelson, this is Ethan Sullivan. Ethan, this is Brenna Nelson, the woman Donner was so fixated on—the one who turned him away.” Ethan’s eyes widened again. “No shit. Oh, sorry, Brenna. He didn’t hurt you, did he?” The concern in his eyes touched her deeply. King ran a possessive hand down her back. “Damned right he hurt her, but thank God, not the way you’re thinking. Broken wrist, cuts and bruises.” “That son of a bitch.” “Yeah. I need a favor.” Ethan nodded. “Name it.” “Brenna’s staying at the hotel here. She found that note taped to her door when she got back from coming to the club to give Royce and me hell for condoning behavior like Donner’s. Do you think you could have caught him on camera?” Ethan smiled, intensifying his devastating good looks even more. “She came to the club to give you and Royce hell, huh? I’d love to have seen that.” King grinned, his eyes shining with pride. “Damned right she did. Really laid into us. Now, we’re keeping her.”

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“Damn.” Even though he smiled, she could see the concern still in his eyes. Combined with King and Royce’s reaction, it convinced her she’d made the right decision in deciding to stay here. Ethan got to his feet. “I’m going to go check the tapes and talk to Brandon. I’ll be back to talk to you before you leave.” When he left, Brenna patted King’s shoulder. “I’d feel better not making a spectacle of myself. Let me sit back in my chair.” King finally relented. “I don’t like this, Red. You’re coming back to the club with us tonight.” Brenna blew out a breath and took a sip of her water, missing his warmth. “I have to admit, I’m a little nervous about staying here alone now.” She looked up at King through her lashes. “Does this mean you haven’t changed your mind? I wanted to let you know that you could be in danger if Donner’s on the loose again.” “He’s not.” Royce came up from behind her, touching her hair as he passed her and took his seat again.

“I just talked to Ace. Donner’s still in jail. The judge denied bail and

wants him to have a psychological analysis before they move forward.”

A cold chill went up and down Brenna’s spine. “He’ll fail it.” Wrapping

her arms around herself, she missed King’s hold even more.

“I have to admit, I’m relieved that he’s still in jail, but if it’s not him,

who is it? I’d have felt better knowing exactly who the hell was coming after me.” Royce’s jaw clenched. “And why?” He looked at King. “What did Ethan say?” “He’s talking to Brandon and checking the tapes. He’ll know something

in a few minutes. In the meantime, let’s eat.” King handed her a buttered biscuit, speaking to Royce, but his eyes never left hers. “Red’s coming to the club.” Royce frowned. “Of course, she is. She can’t stay here alone with someone after her. We can protect her, and as soon as word gets around town, she’ll be even safer.” “I’d hate to put both of you in danger.” Royce paused with his glass halfway to his mouth and started to speak, but King beat him to it.

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“Do you really think that we’d stand aside and let someone hurt you? Besides, how scared do you think we’d be of some asshole who tapes notes to doors and runs away?” Brenna couldn’t deny her relief. “If you’re sure.” “We’re sure.” Royce smiled. “So, are you coming home with us tonight, where we can protect you and start your training as a Dom?” “Are you sure you still want to do that after finding out about the note?” King sat forward. “Of course. Besides, it’ll keep your mind off of this asshole. So, what’s it gonna be, Red? Whether or not you start training, we’ll still protect you. No strings.” Satisfied that she’d made the right decision, she nevertheless shifted restlessly at their intent stares. Forcing a smile, she took a deep breath to calm the butterflies in her stomach. “So, when do we start?”

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Chapter Three

For the rest of the meal, they skirted questions about their proposition and the club, telling her that they’d have plenty of time to answer her questions once they were alone. Royce gestured toward the food she’d pushed around her plate. “Eat your dinner. Let’s talk about you. Tell us about your last boyfriend.” Brenna shrugged, not quite sure what he wanted to know, but from the way he kept glancing in the direction Ethan had gone, she knew he still thought about Donner and the note. “He was nice. I was the problem.” King scowled. “You just weren’t right for each other. I hope no one ever calls me nice. Hell, that’s boring. What’s your favorite color?” “Red. No, blue. I don’t know.” Their random questions kept her off guard, which she figured they did on purpose. She assumed part of their plan was to distract herto keep her from thinking about whoever taped that note to her hotel room door. “I guess it depends on my mood. Sometimes, I love black.” Royce smiled and leaned closer. “You’d look like pure sin in black.” King nodded once and took a sip of his beer, his eyes steady on hers. “Those expressive eyes and those full lips scream sin already. She’d be devastating in black. Tell me you like pizza and beer.” Startled by the unexpected shift in conversation, Brenna laughed, nearly choking on her iced tea. “Love them.” She slid a glance at Royce, her face burning. “Sorry. I’m not sophisticated. I like wine sometimes, but usually I prefer beer.” King grinned. “Thank God.” Royce’s eyes moved over her face as he took a sip of his wine. Everything about himfrom his clothing to his mannerisms, to his voicescreamed of cool sophistication.

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“Women are such complicated creatures. Layers and layers to peel away. Only when they’re peeled away does a man discover if a woman’s hot or cold at the core. So, Brenna, are you prepared to have your layers peeled away, and to learn what’s at the center?” Attempting to appear unaffected by his provocative question, Brenna took a bite of baked potato and almost choked on it. Shaken by the wicked gleam in his eyes, she swallowed, and took a sip of her tea before attempting to speak. “You sound pretty confident. Most men sound that way at the beginning, but it doesn’t last. I hope you realize that women know that. I’m sure you’ve spent a lot of time peeling layers in your lifetime.” Royce’s lips twitched. “None more important than yours.” Brenna smiled sarcastically. “Sure. You are slick, but I don’t buy all that crap.” Royce’s eyes narrowed. “So I see. What kind of job did you have back in Virginia?” The reminder of how Donner had gotten her fired angered her all over again. “I worked as a receptionist in a very conservative dentist’s office. He hated that I got phone calls all day from Donner. When I stopped trying to reason with Donner and just started hanging up on him, he started coming to the office and creating scenes in front of the patients.” Her face burned when she thought about the day she got fired. “I lost my temper and threw a box of toothbrushes at him. That’s when the doctor fired me.” King threw his head back and roared with laughter, drawing the attention of several other people in the restaurant. Making a scene didn’t appear to bother him a bit. “I’m sorry, but I would have loved seeing that temper, Red. I’m very much looking forward to dealing with it again, but in a much more intimate way.” Brenna bristled with indignation. “I’m tired of being accused of having a bad temper. Just because my hair is red doesn’t mean my temper is worse than anyone else’s.”

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Royce smiled and sat back, taking another sip of his wine. “I think that’s something I’d rather find out for myself. I didn’t see the scene when you first arrived at the club, but I understand it was quite a show.” Brenna glared at him and reached for her iced tea. “I had a right to be mad.” “Indeed you did.” Royce smiled. “You’ll be mad again, this time at us. I can’t wait to see it. There’s nothing like a truly passionate woman to make a man feel alive.” His smile fell. With careful deliberation, he placed his fork back on his plate. “Here comes Ethan. He looks upset.” In fact, the handsome hotel owner looked furious. At Royce’s gesture, he took the empty seat across the table from her, his jaw clenched tight as he tossed several pictures onto the table. “We tried every angle, but none of them show his face.” Brenna picked up one of the pictures, unsurprised that her hand shook. “This is the man who put the note on my door?” Ethan nodded, the apology in his eyes making them dark and mysterious. “Yes.” He shuffled through the pictures, choosing another and handing it to her. “You can see him tape it to the door in this one.” Shaking his head, he looked from Royce to King, who passed the other pictures back and forth between them, their expressions grimmer with each one they studied. “He had to know those cameras were there. When you watch the video, you can see how careful he is in avoiding them. I called Ace.” He looked at Royce. “He told me that you’d already called him, and that he’ll be here as soon as he checks something out. He wants the security disk and the note.” He paused, gesturing toward Brenna. “He also told me that she’ll be staying with you. If she wants to stay here, we’ll look out for her.” Royce nodded, not looking up from the pictures. “I know that, but Brenna will be staying with us. After we finish here and talk to Ace, we’ll get her things and get her checked out.” Ethan studied another picture. “Ace doesn’t want anything touched until he gets here.”

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Setting aside the picture she’d been staring at of the man standing in front of her room, Brenna fought the chill that went through her, and picked up another. “I haven’t unpacked. I just dropped my suitcase inside the door and headed to the club.” Frustrated at the inability to see the man’s face, she tossed the picture toward the center of the table. “Dark, hooded sweatshirt. Dark pants. You can’t see anything! This could be anybody.” Tossing aside the picture he’d been staring at, King picked up his beer. “Yeah, but why the hell would anyone but Donner send you a note like that? It doesn’t make sense.” A muscle worked in Ethan’s jaw. “I’m sorry this happened. I’m going to have Lucas take a look at the video and see what he can do about those camera angles.He looked up, coming to his feet. “Here comes Ace now.” Turning in her seat, Brenna gasped at the sight of the giant crossing the room and heading straight toward them. He wore a sheriff’s uniform and looked coldly furious. She found herself leaning toward Royce as the huge man approached the table and held out a hand to King. “I understand we might have a stalker.” Royce folded Brenna’s hand in his, caressing the back of it. “One thing I admire most about you, Ace, is your habit of coming straight to the point. Have a seat and I’ll introduce you.” Ace frowned. “I get the point across, don’t I? I don’t want to interrupt your dinner. Has she eaten?” Brenna pushed her plate back, no longer hungry, and held out her hand to him. “Hello, Sheriff. I’m not hungry anymore. My name’s Brenna Nelson. I’m sorry to cause so much trouble.” Ace slipped into the seat Ethan vacated, his eyes darkening. “I’m sorry for all the trouble you’ve had with Donner. I wish I could have caught him sooner.” Brenna nodded, holding Royce’s hand tighter. “I understand he caused trouble here because he was mad at me. I’m sorry for that.” His eyes gentled. “You have nothing to apologize for. This is all his doing. Not yours.”

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Brenna smiled. “Or yours.” Royce lifted her hand to his lips, brushing a kiss over her knuckles. “She’s got you there, Ace.” Ace’s jaw clenched, his eyes becoming hard and cold again. “I’m the sheriff. Women shouldn’t be getting hurt in my town.” King glanced at Brenna. “His wife was one of the ones who got hurt, and her business was destroyed. How’s Hope doing?” The change in Ace’s expression stunned her. His eyes gentled and darkened, the love and tender indulgence shining in them unmistakable. “Just as feisty and stubborn as ever. She’s been busy rebuilding the club, but not busy enough to keep her from trying her hand at matchmaking. She’s driving Beau and Charity nuts.” King laughed and looked at Brenna. “Charity is Hope’s sister. She and Beau have the hots for each other, but for some reason, Charity’s too stubborn to admit it.” King shook his head, chuckling softly. “Beau has more patience than I do.” His hooded gaze held Brenna’s. “When I see something I want, I don’t see any point in waiting.” Ace’s eyes sharpened. “So I see. Does this mean you’ll be watching out for her?” Royce nodded. “We will. We want to get her suitcase from the room so we can take her to the club. That’s where she’ll be if you need to talk to her.” Ace got to his feet. “She looks shaken. Why don’t we go now and I’ll question her on the way to her room. I’m sure you want to get her out of here and somewhere safe so she’ll settle.” As he stood, he pulled a pair of rubber gloves out of his pocket. “Linc’s on his way to check for fingerprints.” The big sheriff got to his feet, coming around to help her from her chair, leading her from the restaurant and leaving King and Royce to follow. “Miss Nelson, can you tell me what time you left your room today?”

* * * *

In an amazingly short amount of time, Brenna found herself back at the club, ensconced in a spare bedroom that screamed of decadence.

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From the pale, thick carpet under her feet, to the silk bedding on a bed piled high with pillows, the entire atmosphere was one of comfort and seduction. A huge chaise sat on one side of the room, one easily large enough for three or four people. She could imagine curling into it with a good book as easily as she could picture herself snuggling in it with Royce or King. Almost immediately, she dismissed both ideas as foolish. She doubted that she would have a chance to sit and read while she was here as every minute she had free would be spent looking for work. Eyeing Royce in his designer clothes and shoes, she reminded herself that he wouldn’t be the kind of man who snuggled. After setting her suitcases on the bed, Royce started out, pausing at the door. “If you need anything before one of us comes to get you, just pick up the phone. Sebastian will get you whatever you need.” “The man who answered the door?” Royce grinned. “Yes. He knows that you’ll be our guest. He has strict instructions pertaining to you, and where you’re allowed to go. Don’t leave this room until either King or I come to get you.” Surprised that he planned to just leave her here, she frowned. “What am I supposed to do?” “Get some rest. Take a bath, if you’d like. When you’re done, put on the robe that’s on the back of the bathroom door.Brenna wrapped her arms around herself, suddenly chilled. Trembling, she pulled her sweater tighter around herself. “Where are you going? Have you changed your mind? When are we supposed to start? You’ll really stop if I don’t like it? Why did you say one of you will be back later?” Royce straightened, leaning against the doorway. “King and I are going to set up some things in our playroom for you. No, we haven’t changed our minds. We start later tonight. Yes, we’ll stop if you don’t like it. The reason only one of us will be back later is because we have a business to run. Tonight will be just a brief lesson to go over the rules. Your lessons begin tomorrow—during the day when we’re not so busy. With Blade gone, King and I have to take care of the club.” He turned away, pulling the door closed behind him, pausing again. “Just for the record, the rules would be much harsher for you if you were

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here as our submissive. Since we’ll be showing you a bit of the other side, you’ll have a little more leeway. That doesn’t include looking around, though. If you snoop, you’ll be locked in.” She gasped in horror. “Locked in?” Royce’s brow went up. “Trust, remember. It works both ways. You’ll learn to trust us and we’ll have to learn to trust you. Besides, it’ll be a hell of a lot safer to keep you under lock and key until Ace figures out what’s going on. I know it’s been a rough day for you, but a little play might be good for you tonight.He went out before she could reply, his absence giving her the chance to breathe easily for the first time all night. Staring at the closed door, Brenna again had misgivings. Unnerved that she understood very little about the lifestyle Royce and King lived, she couldn’t imagine walking away until she had some of her answers. She didn’t know how long she’d be able to stay, and understood that fantasy and reality were far too different things. In her fantasies, the man dominating her did what she wanted him to do. She had a feeling that reality would be far different, but she had to experience it for herself to know for sure. She sure as hell wouldn’t let a note taped to a door get in her way. In fact, she felt safer already. Royce and King’s attention and air of confidence had her thinking about things a lot more pleasurable. She wantedneededto satisfy the curiosity that had plagued her for years, the yearning for something more that consumed her thoughts since the night she’d gone to the club back home in Virginia. She’d lost interest briefly after the reality of dealing with Donner, but it had still been present, and the time she’d spent with King and Royce had reignited the fire burning deep inside her. Intrigued and curious to see what kind of things they would teach a Dominant, she found herself agreeing to their terms. She tried to convince herself that her desire for them, or her fantasies of submitting, had nothing at all to do with it, but she knew differently. They would be damned good at it. Hopefully, though, she would be able to keep the truth about herself hidden from them, a truth she wondered if they already suspected. She tried to ignore the fact that she shivered with need each time they looked at her in that certain way. She tried not to respond to the indefinable

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gleam in their eyes, one that made her feel they saw more than she wanted them to see. She tried to convince herself that it had nothing to do with the air of authority that seemed such an integral part of them, or the fact that she couldn’t look at their hands without wanting to know how they would feel on her body. She couldn’t deny that a simple dinner with them had aroused her, with barely a touch, or that even now, all alone in the room they’d given her, she shook with a need far stronger than it should have been. The anticipation of experiencing their intimate touch made her body hum with delight, a riot of sensation that wouldn’t settle even now that she’d been left alone. She didn’t want to believe that each step she took toward learning more about this kind of lifestyle fascinated her even more, or that she’d begun to suspect that she’d found the missing element that had kept her from complete fulfillment in her relationships. She yearned to find the key to letting go, and to do it without giving too much of herself away. Confident that she could keep her secret, and hopeful that she would learn that everything they’d said about handling Donner was true, Brenna headed into the bathroom, bubbling with excitement and trembling with nerves and need. Struck by the vast array of bath salts and creams she found, she sat on the edge of the large tub to sniff several of them, wondering if any of the scents would remind them of another woman. Eyeing the robe on the back of the door, she got to her feet again, her nervousness growing by the minute. To her surprise, instead of finding the seductive concoction of silk and lace she’d anticipated, she found a long thick, white terry robe, one so luxurious looking that she couldn’t resist reaching out to touch it. Unable to hold back a moan at its softness, she continued to fondle it, a wave of apprehension rolling through her as she thought about wearing only this while waiting for King or Royce to appear. Not knowing how much time she had before one of them came back, she dropped the sleeve of the robe with a sigh and moved to the tub and started filling it. Hoping a hot bath would calm her, she tossed in some of the bath salts. Breathing in the scent of blue raspberry, she smiled,

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wondering if King and Royce would find the sweet fragrance as mouthwatering as she did. Sure that none of their sophisticated women would ever use a scent so sweet and fruity, she added a little more. Laughing to herself at the thought of two such men taken in by the way she smelled, she slipped naked into the tub and leaned back, hoping the warm water would soothe her. Now that she had some time to think, the enormity of what she’d committed herself to started to sink in. Remembering the horror of being on the receiving end of Donner’s unwanted attention, she sat up, lifting her knees to wrap her arms around them. She didn’t want to believe King or Royce would terrorize her that way. No matter how much she wanted both of them, she knew that she wouldn’t tolerate being beaten. She wanted a chance to experience that something more that she’d heard and read about. The burning desire to belong to someone in ways she’d only fantasized about grew month after month, year after year, until it ruined every relationship she’d ever had. She’d read about it, talked about it, fantasized about it, but she needed to experience it. She’d be thirty-four on her next birthday, and had been proposed to twice, but the feeling that something was missing made it impossible for her to accept. As soon as she’d learned a little about this kind of lifestyle, something clicked for her and she hadn’t been able to shake it. Even though she’d faked indifference to her friends, the chance to visit the club in Virginia had seemed like a dream come true. She’d left there even more convinced that she’d found the missing piece in her life, the one thing that kept her from the closeness she craved. She’d never be satisfied until she knew for sure. Just when she’d started to investigate how to go further, Eugene Donner had begun stalking her. After that, what she’d yearned for seemed too dangerous to pursue. Until she met Royce and King. They seemed to be the answer she’d been looking for.

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She just hoped her obsession to learn more about what she needed, and why, hadn’t made her jump into something that could prove to be more than she could handlesomething even more dangerous than dealing with Donner.

* * * *

Royce stood back and studied the mirror, finally satisfied with the angle. “I’m looking forward to this more than I thought I would. I think Brenna actually thinks we believe that she’s only interested in learning how we train Doms. She’s so curious about surrendering to a man that she might as well have it painted in neon on her forehead.” He’d seen it in her eyes—the combination of excitement, fear, and curiosity nearly driving him mad to have her. King nodded, frowning as he adjusted the light. “She is. I’d bet money on it. She just needs to be treated with kid gloves after that shit with Donner. I still wish I’d beaten the hell out of him when I had the chance.” Dropping his hands to his sides, he cursed. “He couldn’t have taped that note to her door.” He lifted his head, his eyes pure fury. “I’m sure as hell looking forward to getting my hands on the person who did.” Royce clenched his jaw, feeling much the same way. “I agree, but he’s got to be behind it somehow. Nothing else makes sense. Even if Donner gets out, everyone knows who he is. He wouldn’t dare show his face in Desire again.Pushing thoughts of Donner aside for now, he made up his mind to spend the rest of the night focusing on a stunning redhead with the most expressive eyes he’d ever seen. “I’m very much looking forward to see the shock and pleasure in Brenna’s eyes when some of that curiosity is satisfied.King lifted one of the small whips from a shelf, his expression thoughtful as he ran his fingers over it. “She doesn’t understand why a woman would consent, hell, beg to be whipped or spanked. We’re going to have to go slowly with her, but that excitement and arousal in her eyes is damned near irresistible.”

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He looked up, his eyes glittering with the same anticipation that ran through Royce’s veins. “I wonder how long she’ll last before she asks us to take over.” Royce grinned, his cock pressing insistently against his trousers. “I don’t know, but I can’t wait to find out. She needs this, especially now. It’ll get her mind off of that note, and that fucking Donner.” “I can’t believe I lost the coin toss and you get to have her tonight.” Slapping his friend’s back, Royce started for the door. “Too bad. You get to be with her tomorrow night, though. After that, we’ll work with her together. I just think that being with both of us at once might be too much for her this soon.He found himself almost yanked off his feet when King grabbed his shoulder and whipped him around. Shocked at the anger in his friend’s eyes, he broke King’s hold, finding it more difficult than he’d expected. “What the fuck?” King surprised the hell out of him by getting in his face, his eyes full of fury. “You scare her off tonight and I’m going to kick your ass.” Royce shoved him back. “What the hell’s wrong with you? I have no intention of scaring her.” Eyeing his friend thoughtfully, he grinned, the anticipation of being with Brenna growing. “You’re thinking that someone like Brenna would be perfect for us, aren’t you? You’re scared to let her see how much she’s gotten to you already. You’ve always been a sucker for a damsel in distress, and you’re afraid you’re going to get attached to her, and when the danger’s over, she’ll leave us.King turned away, rubbing a hand over the back of his neck. He didn’t speak for a while, staring at the chair they’d set up for Brenna. “She’s scared already and I don’t want to run her off before we’ve had a chance to show her how we do things around here.” Royce crossed his arms over his chest, watching his friend closely. “You and I have known each other a long time. I’ve got to say, I don’t remember ever seeing you like this. I know you worried about the woman Donner was after, but I didn’t realize you’d become so obsessed with her.” “I’m not obsessed with her.” King started for the door. Opening it, he turned. “I’m just concerned. I’ll be in the bar. Come find me when—later.”

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Royce could only stare as King walked out, slamming the door behind him. He’d seen his friend in a lot of moods, but never anything like this. With women King was usually very playful, devious even, pushing their limits until they became putty in his hands. A lot of the submissives that came back here vied for his attention, flocking to him, begging him to master them that night and even fighting each other for him. His cell phone rang, distracting him. “Royce.” “I’m just calling to let you know that Miss Nelson called down, requesting a glass of wine. I thought I’d check with you first.” Royce had already started for the door. “No. Don’t bother calling her back. I’ll take care of it. I’m not taking any more calls.” Disconnecting, he started down the hall toward Brenna’s room, grateful that he and King shared a private floor. His cock jumped at the thought of what he had in store for her tonight, and if his earlier reaction to her meant anything, he knew he’d be pushing the boundaries of his control by the time he finished with her. The anticipation of seeing the surprise and delight he knew would be sparkling in those beautiful blue eyes quickened his step. Pausing to take a deep breath, he knocked on the door to Brenna’s room, anxious to get started.

* * * *

Startled out of her musings by the knock at the door, Brenna gasped and spun toward it, pressing a hand over her pounding heart. With shaking hands and rubbery knees, she tightened the belt of her robe and made her way to the door. Pausing with her hand on the doorknob, she wondered which one of them stood on the other side. Surprised at the realization that she couldn’t decide which one of them she wanted it to be, she pressed a hand to her stomach and opened the door, sucking in a sharp breath at the sight that greeted her. For some reason, Royce appeared far more dangerous than he had sitting next to her at dinner.

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Dressed entirely in black, he had an aura about him that screamed with a threatening sexuality far more potent than any she’d ever encountered. His hair had been loose when she’d met him and in the restaurant, but he’d tied it back since then, which only served to emphasize his good looks. He was even more beautiful than she’d remembered. His deep green eyes sparkled with male interest and purpose, a look so sharp it stole her ability to breathe and sent a shiver of apprehension through her. Filled with confidence, as though he knew all of her innermost secrets, his eyes held hers. “Hello, Brenna. Are you ready to begin?” His voice dripped with sex, a low intimate tone unlike anything she’d ever heard, the cool timbre of authority in it unmistakable.

A sharp awareness washed over her, awakening every erogenous zone

more effectively than any intimate touch she’d ever received. He raised a brow at her continued silence, his faint smile making her even more nervous. He didn’t rush her, as calm and patient as if he had all night. Of course he would have to be patient in order to get a woman to submit.

The reminder of the kind of man he would have to be, a man who knew so much about pleasuring a woman that he could convince her to do anything, had her shifting restlessly. She hadn’t anticipated the power emanating from him, much stronger now than it had been before, as though he’d turned a switch. Even on her trip to the club in Virginia, she hadn’t experienced anything so intense. “I don’t know if I’m ready. How the hell could I know that?” Wringing her hands together, she took a step back. “I don’t know what I’m supposed to do. I don’t know what you’re going to do to me. I want to make sure you’re not teaching men like Donner to abuse women, but how can I be sure you’re going to be honest with me about what you’re teaching? I don’t know if—” The finger he placed over her lips effectively silenced the rest of her

babbling, the stroke of his finger over her lower lip sending sharp, sizzling heat from her lips to her nipples.

In a slow move, he gripped her shoulders, his expression softening.

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“Stop. You’re getting yourself all worked up because you’re afraid of the unexpected. Is that why you asked for the wine?” She had to swallow before speaking, the slow glide of his thumbs over her collarbones sending a wave of longing through her that weakened her knees. “Yes. It should be here soon. Maybe after I have a glass—” “No.” Royce shook his head and took her hand, leading her out into the hallway. “I don’t want anything to dull your senses, and I want to make sure your head is clear tonight.” Holding the robe closed at her neck, Brenna looked around, worried that someone might see her. Royce squeezed her hand, leading her to a heavy, ornate wooden door at the end of the hallway. “Don’t worry. No one will see you. This floor belongs to King and me. The only other person that comes to this floor is Sebastian, and he knows I don’t want to be disturbed.” Nodding, Brenna held her breath as he pushed the door open, shaking so badly she had trouble walking. To her astonishment, the only light she saw came from directly above a leather chair placed several feet just inside the door. In front of the chair sat a full mirror, one that would reflect every inch of the person sitting in front of it. Something told her it would be her. She stopped abruptly, disconcerted by the fact that she could no longer see Royce very well. “What’s going on?” Moving to stand behind her, he placed his hands on her shoulders and guided her to the chair, bending to meet her eyes in the mirror. “As a Master, you need to see your submissive. You need to focus on her.” Lifting his hands from her shoulders, he stepped back, the low light making it impossible for her to see him. She couldn’t see anything but herself. Pulling together a gap in her robe, Brenna curled her toes against the hard wooden floor. Feeling stupid and uncomfortable, she squinted, searching for Royce in the darkness. “I don’t understand how this is supposed to work. Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea.

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“I’ll tell you everything you need to know. Are you comfortable?” Royce’s voice came from behind her and a little to the right. Nodding, she fisted her hands in the robe. “As comfortable as possible. Royce, I—” “Quiet, Brenna. When we’re in this room, I’m the teacher, and you’re the student. Now, before we begin, there are a few things I think we need to discuss. We’ve bypassed the usual application and interview for this…unusual arrangement, so while you’re here, you’re not permitted to mingle with our other guests. Unless King or I take you to another part of the club, you’re confined to this floor while you’re here. Do you understand and agree to that?” Brenna nodded, the fluttering in her stomach becoming stronger. “Yes.” “You’ll be permitted to go out whenever you want, except for the times that King and I will be working with you. While you’re our guest, we’re responsible for you and you’ll follow our rules. Do you understand and agree to that?” “What kind of rules?” She wished he would just get on with it. With her nerves stretched to the breaking point, she didn’t know how much longer she could sit here. Tapping her feet, she fought the urge to jump up and run from the room. Royce’s tone seemed to become firmer and colder each time he spoke, adding to her nervousness, but effectively keeping her in her seat. “You will not give yourself to any other man, and you won’t do anything that might put you in danger. You’ll have to be careful because we have no idea who sent that note. You’ll only be permitted to go out when it’s safe. Are we clear?” Brenna nodded, trying to see him in the darkness. “I have no intention of endangering myself and I’m sure as hell not planning to go looking for a man.” She jumped as Royce suddenly appeared in the mirror. With an efficiency that impressed her, he fastened a silver choker around her neck. “This tells the people of Desire that you belong to the club. No one from the town will attempt to proposition you as long as you’re wearing this. It’s locked, and can only be removed by King or me. You will not, under any circumstances, leave the club without wearing this. Understood?”

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Moving her neck experimentally, Brenna grimaced. “It’s heavy.” “It’s worn to remind a submissive that she’s owned, but in your case, it’s to keep you safe. Now that we’ve finished with the preliminaries, let’s begin. Look at your sub. She needs your attention.Brenna jumped at his demand and stared at her reflection, her eyes going to Royce at yet another abrupt shift in conversation. Royce stepped back, once again disappearing from view. “Don’t take your eyes from her. She needs you. She’s learning something about herself, something that’s been missing from her life, and she needs your guidance. She’s depending on you to keep her safe. She must trust you implicitly. Are you ready for that kind of responsibility?” Brenna blinked, searching desperately for a glimpse of Royce in the mirror. She’d been expecting nothing more than fun and games, but Royce sounded far more serious about this than she’d expected. “I don’t know what to say. I thought you were going to show me what kind of things men did to make women obey them. I thought it was just sex.” “No, Brenna. It’s more—much more. Don’t look away from her. She’s the most important thing in your world right now.Trying not to let him see how much the silkiness in his tone affected her, Brenna once again stared at her reflection. “Okay. I’m looking. I look like me. I don’t know what I’m supposed to be seeing.” She glanced up, meeting his eyes in the mirror. “Damn it. I knew I would suck at this.” Royce chuckled softly. “You’re doing fine. You’re two different people now, Brenna. The Dominant you is sitting in the chair.” He trailed a finger just inside her robe to stroke her collarbone, his touch sending tingling waves to her nipples. “The submissive you is in the mirror. Try to separate the two.Brenna nodded, not understanding how she could do that. “Okay.” “What do you see in her eyes?” Brenna blinked at the question, and studied her reflection, not quite sure what she was supposed to say. Surprised at the emotion swirling in them, she spoke without thinking. “Fear.” Royce’s reflection appeared in the mirror again, directly over her shoulder, his devastating good looks made even more intimidating by the hard glint of authority in his eyes. “Yes. What else? You must be able to

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read her eyes, Brenna. You must be able to read her body language. You have to know what she’s thinking and feeling if you’re going to please her. She needs you to understand her, to understand things about her that she can’t even voice.” His voice lowered dangerously. “If you’re going to get her to submit to you, to your every whim, you have to know her more intimately than she knows herself. What is she feeling, Brenna?” She hadn’t ever considered it that way. The thought of him having that much control over her scared her so much she almost walked out. In her fantasies, she’d never lost control of what he did to her. Stiffening, she closed her eyes and took a deep breath, reminding herself that he couldn’t have what she didn’t give. She opened her eyes to study her reflection again, shivering at the feel of Royce’s warm breath against her neck. “Um, confusion.” Damn it. She was supposed to be learning how they trained Dominants, and already she found herself giving in to the urge to submit. Straightening, Royce remained standing behind her, his hands curled around the back of her chair. “Very good. Your sub is confused, which can sometimes be a good thing. You want to keep her on her toes, but you have to be careful with that. She has to know what’s expected of her. It’s all right for her to be confused this early, but you have to make sure she understands what’s going on.” Brenna hoped that part of it would come soon, because panic kept creeping in. To her surprise, though, focusing her attention on the mirror had reduced some of her nerves. “What’s next?” “We’re going to have to give your sub a safe word—a word she can use whenever she’s in trouble, or when she feels she can’t get past whatever she’s being subjected to. Since you’re her Dom, it’s your choice. Do you want to pick a safe word for her, or would you rather let her do it? It has to be a word that wouldn’t normally come up in conversation.” She caught his faint smile in the mirror, and relaxed a little more. “I’ll do it. It’s crystal.” Royce nodded once. “Crystal it is. There’s something very important you need to explain to her about her safe word.”

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“What’s that?” Royce’s eyes hardened. “As soon as she uses it, it’s over.” A cold knot formed in Brenna’s stomach. “Over? You mean that you’ll move on to something else?” Royce shook his head. “I mean, over, Brenna. Like I said, it takes a lot of trust to have a relationship such as this one. You have to be sure that your sub is able to handle whatever you have planned. In return, she has to agree to have her limits explored. The only way to do that is to take her deeper. Now, if you’re sure that she tried, it might be something she just can’t handle, but using her safe word just because she feels uncomfortable won’t be tolerated. If that’s the case, she’s not really interested in exploring that part of herself and is a waste of your time.” Brenna swallowed heavily. “But Ishe can use it?” “Only if absolutely necessary. If she uses it each time you’re together, either you’re an awful Dom, or she’s just playing games with you. She has to want to explore the pleasures to be found in submitting and surrendering herself to someone who wants to form a bond with her, one in which he agrees to take care of her in all ways. Understood?” Brenna nodded, hoping she did. The reality of this fantasy seemed far more complicated than she’d expected. “Yes. Only in emergencies.” Royce smiled. “Something like that. Of course there’ll be times when she’s gagged, in which case she won’t be able to use it at all, but trust must be created between you before then.” Knowing she’d never get to that point in the brief time she planned to be here, she nodded again. “Okay.” Just the thought of being unable to use her safe word scared her, but with it came an excitement she hadn’t anticipated. Imagining being bound and gagged, unable to escape as they forced pleasure on her while they prevented her from objecting or using her safe word sent a fresh wave of arousal through her, one so strong it stole her breath. She would be nothing more than an object for them to play with and she wouldn’t be able to do a thing to stop them. Hopefully, they would take over and push her past her fears. He waited until she met his eyes again. “Now that we’ve gotten a few things out of the way, it’s time to get to know your submissive a little better. Let’s begin the inspection.”

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Royce’s matter-of-fact tone as he announced his erotic intentions weakened her knees, making her glad that she was sitting. “In–Inspection?” Just the word made her tense and sent her hunger soaring. Royce smiled patiently, his eyes alive with anticipation. “Of course. We have to learn what your submissive likes and doesn’t like. You need to learn which places are very sensitive, and which places she doesn’t like to be touched. You need to know her body as intimately as you know your own. She belongs to you, remember. She’s yours to take care of. She’s your possessionyour most valuable and precious one.” That low, silky timbre in his tone made her nipples bead and press against the soft robe, while her clit throbbed incessantly. Everything he said sounded provocative, but one word had her pulse racing. “Possession?” Royce’s brow went up. “Of course. At least when you’re involved in a sceneor for our purposes—when we’re in this room. She belongs to you. Her pleasure. Her pain. Her fear. You must be able to anticipate everything she’s going to do or say. It takes exploration, experimentation, patience and a lot of attention. For now, though, you don’t even know what she looks like. You don’t know how she likes to be touched, or what issues she needs to overcome.Brenna let her eyes drift to his in the mirror, her heart pounding nearly out of her chest. Wondering how much he knew, she gulped and nodded. Royce smiled. “You’re going to have to be gentle with her, especially at first. She’ll be uncomfortable with her nakedness, but you can’t allow her to hide herself from you. She belongs to you. You must have access to every part of her body in order to make her aware of that.” Royce’s eyes narrowed on hers. “She’ll never be completely comfortable with it, in fact, it would be a shame if she ever did, but she’ll do better as time goes by.” Brenna came to her feet, taking a moment to steady herself. Royce held her eyes in the mirror. “She’ll want you to help her, but taking her clothes from her doesn’t command her compliance. She has to take off her own clothing. It’ll make her feel more helpless, because she knows she’s submitting to you of her own free will.” He knew what she felt!

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He didn’t take. He enticed her to give. Biting her lip, Brenna reached for the belt of her robe, her eyes held by Royce’s in the mirror for several long seconds before he disappeared into the darkness again. Of course he would know what a submissive felt. He was a Dom, after

all.

Pausing, she gulped again, nervously wrapping the belt of the robe around her hands. “What if she doesn’t undress?” The silence that followed made the hair on the back of her neck stand up. After several long seconds, seconds that dragged out with excruciating slowness, Royce spoke again, his voice low, but with a steely edge. “There are a variety of reasons for that, but the bottom line is that she strips or she’s taken back to her room. It’s over. She has to give herself willingly, Brenna, or there’s no submission. There’s just rape.” Brenna sucked in a breath at the ugly word. It wouldn’t be that at all, but she didn’t know how to give him what he wanted. Her mind went blank, the riot of sensation building inside her blocking out everything else. She felt more alive than she’d ever felt in her life, every nerve ending tingling with awareness. With her heightened awareness came arousal, a kind of arousal she couldn’t have imagined, made more intense because it originated in her mind. Damn, he was good. Too good. Royce appeared in the mirror again, bending low, his eyes gleaming with knowledge of her arousal and a calm assurance that he could handle it. “The submissive has all the power, Brenna, something every Dominant knows very well. That’s the only way this kind of relationship can really work. She must know she’s in good hands and that she can trust the one mastering her. With one word, everything comes to a halt.” Inclining his head, he gestured toward her reflection. Does she want to use that word and walk out of here, or does she want to let her robe fall to the floor so we can continue to explore her? Her Dom would be anxious to explore those luscious curves. He would want to know the texture of her skin. He would want to feel the trembles beneath it. He would want to know how each soft touch, each firm touch, affected her. He would want to know everything about her and teach her more about herself than she could have ever imagined.”

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Each word he spoke slid over her skin like a caress, heightening her desire. He used the curl he’d wrapped around his finger to stroke the sensitive spot at the base of her neck, and gestured toward the mirror. “She’s counting on you to teach her—to show her things about herself that she hasn’t even fantasized yet.” His warm breath caressed her ear, his deep voice lowering and becoming even silkier. “Pleasure. Pain. A soft stroke. A firm one. Look into her eyes, Brenna. She wants to know. She’s hungry, and she needs someone who will take the time and patience to satisfy that hunger.Desire hummed through her veins like the finest wine, making her just as dizzy. Never taking her eyes from his, she unbelted the robe and let it fall to puddle around her hips, feeling her nakedness with acute awareness, one that made every inch of exposed flesh tingle. Shaking with nerves, she looked into the mirror, not knowing what she should do next. Disappointed when he straightened and disappeared into the darkness once more, Brenna met the reflection of her own eyes in the mirror. Shocked that the lust she felt showed so clearly, she started to close her eyes, jolting at the snap in Royce’s tone. “Keep them open. You need to see her, Brenna. Remember? Don’t let her close her eyes, and let her believe this is a fantasy. Don’t let her escape into her own world. She needs you. Isn’t she beautiful? I’m jealous, you know. I would love to have the chance to master such a beautiful and responsive woman, one who doesn’t truly realize her capacity for pleasure. Passionate women are so vulnerable, so you need her to know you’re there for her.” Brenna took a shuddering breath, her heart racing. She could feel his eyes moving over her, his gaze as potent as a caress. “I’m there for her?” God, she’d give anything to have him take over. She had to bite her lip to keep from begging him to do just that. Royce’s voice lowered, the seductive timbre combined with the sharp edge of authority in it dancing over her skin like thousands of fingers. “Yes. She needs you for guidance, remember? She’s trusting that you’ll care for her. Why would she submit to you if you didn’t take care of her? She knows

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that there’s pleasure in store for her. You can see that in her eyes, can’t you? She just doesn’t know how much yet. Little by little, you’re going to show her. You’re going to show her that the deeper the submissionthe deeper the pleasure.” Brenna swallowed heavily, wishing she could see Royce’s face as the line between her and the woman in the mirror became even more blurred. “I don’t know how.” It came out as a breathless whisper, but seemed loud in the heavy silence in the room. Her nipples ached so badly, she barely resisted the urge to rub them, the robe beneath her bottom becoming even damper. Another of those lengthy pauses followed, stretching her nerves and heightening her arousal even more. Sitting half-naked in a room with a virtual stranger, her body clearly illuminated, she felt the full effect of her exposure. Fear, excitement, nerves, vulnerability, and lust made a powerful combination, one that left her confused and shaken and hanging on eagerly to Royce’s every word. She didn’t feel like herself at all, becoming a creature of need that would do anything to be what Royce wanted her to be. She stilled, drawing a sharp intake of breath and holding it as he reached out and removed the belt. She shivered when the robe fell to the sides, leaving her completely naked. Looking at herself in the mirror, she couldn’t deny that she hardly recognized the woman staring back at her. Her eyes, dark with need, appeared not quite focused. Her cheeks had become flushed, her breath coming out in short pants through parted lips. Her nipples stood out, beaded and needy. Not until she studied her reflectionreally looked at herself, did she realize that she’d arched her back, thrusting her breasts out in an involuntary invitation to Royce. She knew she had a good body, but she’d never been as proud of it until now, eager to show Royce every part of her. Royce’s disembodied voice came from behind her, silky smooth, but with an underlying steel. “You’re here for her, remember? Look at her. Look at that beautiful body. To master her, you’ll have to learn every inch of it.” Unable to speak, Brenna nodded, her skin tingling as she imagined his hands touching her everywhere.

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“She’s waiting, Brenna.” His tone had cooled considerably, a tension in it that hadn’t been there before. Wrapping her arms around herself against the sudden chill, Brenna swallowed again. “Waiting for what?” “You can’t allow her to hide herself that way from you. She must be open. She needs to have her arms at her sides and keep them there unless you tell her otherwise. She needs to spread those thighs. That pussy belongs to you and she has no right to hide it from you. She belongs to you. Are you really going to let her keep you from seeing parts of her she’s uncomfortable showing you? That won’t be permitted, Brenna.” Even though he spoke to her as though telling her how to handle the woman in the mirror, she felt as though he spoke to her the way he would have done if she really belonged to him. Still staring at her reflection, and even more confused, Brenna dropped her arms to her sides and spread her thighs, shaking so hard now that she could barely stand. Her stomach quivered, her pussy clenching, the need becoming unbearable. Frustrated, she lashed out at him. “What’s she waiting for? What am I supposed to do?” “Make her stand, Brenna. You need to see all of her.” He waited until she got unsteadily to her feet before he appeared in the mirror again, moving the chair away to stand directly behind her, his tone soothing and warm. “Calm down, darling. You can’t lose control. She needs you.” His eyes narrowed, the heat in them unmistakable. “You know damned well what she’s waiting for, but is too scared to ask.” “I can’t do this, damn it! Help me.” The last came out as a sob, her voice choked with tears. Nearly beside herself with frustration, she groaned as waves of warning tingles washed over her. And he’d barely touched her! Royce held her eyes in the mirror once again. “Do you want me to touch you? To help you explore her? If so, you’re going to have to ask. She’s your submissive. Yours to give to me.” Brenna couldn’t think of anything in the world that she needed— wanted—more than Royce’s touch. Shaking uncontrollably now, she stared at the mirror, surprised that she could no longer even see herself, her vision blurred with tears of frustration. “Yes. Touch me. Hold me. I can’t stand it anymore.”

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She sagged with relief when Royce’s arm came around her waist, taking her weight. Shivering at his warm breath against her ear, she closed her eyes, leaning back against his shoulder. “I’m sorry. I’m so confused.” “No, you’re not. You know exactly what you want. You’re just too scared to ask for it. Open your eyes, Brenna. Look in the mirror.” Doing as he asked, she sucked in a breath at the sight of her naked and in his arms. She’d never seen anything so incredibly erotic. She looked so small and fragile against his much larger frame. Need clawed at her, and she had to bite her lip to keep from begging him to take her. His dark skin made hers seem even paler, his dark hand appearing exotic and masculine against her quivering belly. “Look at her, Brenna. Look into her eyes.” Wrapping his free hand around her wrist, Royce lifted her hand to her breast, trailing her fingers over her nipple. “What does she need, Brenna? Look into her eyes. What does the woman in the mirror need?” Her stormy eyes met his calm ones in the mirror, a confidence in his that somehow reassured her and the only thing that kept her panic at bay. She wished with everything inside her that it was his hand touching her instead of her own. Her own touch didn’t even come close to appeasing this rampant hunger. She needed his. She’d never needed so much to belong to someone. Ten minutes with Royce and she ached so badly she’d do anything for relief. After only ten minutes, she felt connected to him in ways she’d never felt with any man, even when making love. He intrigued her, excited her, and made her feel more desirable and sexy than she’d ever felt before. More than that, she found herself connected to him, captivated by his strong presence so much that she yielded herself to him before she made any conscious effort to do so. She’d do whatever he wanted, be anything he wanted her to beif only he would make her his.

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Her stomach quivered as the throbbing of her clit became unbearable, her pussy clenching and releasing even more of her juices. She ached everywhere. Tingled. Burned. Other than holding her up and wrapping a hand around her wrist, he hadn’t even touched her, and yet she began to come. To her amazement, one small orgasm after another took hold of her, each sending shimmering waves through her that didn’t even come close to satisfying the raging hunger Royce had ignited inside her. Choking, her body wracked with sobs, Brenna shook her head, closing her eyes against the disappointment she knew she would see in his. “She—Ineed you. God help me, I need you. And I can’t.” Wrenching herself from his hold, she ran for the door, running naked down the hallway and into her room, slamming the door behind her. Leaning back against it, she sank to the floor, sobbing uncontrollably and feeling like a fool. Still incredibly aroused, she wrapped her arms around herself and began to rock, the small movement soothing her. It had only taken Royce a few minutes to discover her biggest secret, one she hadn’t entirely believed herself. She needed to surrender herself to a man. To submit. To him. To turn herself over to his care. She wanted to belong to him, and to see pleasure and hunger in his eyes as he took her. The few minutes she’d spent with Royce had made her feel more than she’d ever felt. It hurt—so much she couldn’t breathe. The hard, impatient knock, much louder and more insistent than before, made her jolt. Slapping a hand over her mouth to hold back a cry, she looked around wildly, wondering what she should do. She couldn’t face him, especially naked and crying, her body still humming with the remnants of something too strong to be considered merely lust. “Brenna, I can hear you crying. Move away from the door so I can open

it.”

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She closed her eyes as his deep voice, now low and soothing, washed over her. If she opened the door, she knew she’d fall into his arms and beg him to take her. She’d dreamed of feeling this way, but the reality proved to be more intense and frightening than any fantasy. “No. Go away.” “I can’t do that, Brenna.” The door opened a few inches. “Let me give you your robe. Put it on and we’ll talk.” “I don’t want to talk to you.” It came out as a hoarse cry, her emotions in tatters. Curling into a ball on the floor, she stilled, wondering if she only imagined the tension in Royce’s voice. “Too bad. Move back a little so I can give you the robe. Sebastian’s bringing you some wine to help you settle.” After a pause, he knocked again. “There’s no lock on the inside of this door, Brenna. What are you going to do, stay there all night?” “Yes.” After this, she’d never be able to face him again. She’d wait until he left, and find a way to escape. “All right. I’ll come in through the hidden door.” “What?” Brenna jumped to her feet, looking around to see where Royce might come in. As soon as she moved away from the door, he opened it another few inches and stuck his hand inside, her robe dangling from his fingers. “Put this on, and we’ll talk.” Brenna snatched the robe from his hand and hurriedly slipped it on, keeping the side of her foot pressed against the door to keep him from entering. Her hands shook so badly that it took three attempts to tie it, but she finally managed it. “I don’t want to talk. Please go away.” She wiped the tears from her cheeks, surprised to discover that she’d stopped crying. “I’ve already made a fool of myself. I just want to be alone.” “I’ll leave you alone as soon as we’ve talked. Now, open the door, right now. Your wine’s here. You can’t stand there holding the door closed all night.” Realizing that he spoke the truth, Brenna closed her hand around the lapels of the robe at her throat and stepped back from the door. Turning her back to the door as it swung open, she moved to the window and curled herself onto the window seat there, pulling her robe

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tighter. From the corner of her eye, she saw Royce coming toward her, grateful that he stopped at the round table that stood several feet from where she sat. She heard the sounds of him opening the bottle of wine and pouring a glass, but she didn’t dare look in his direction. Several lights illuminated the parking lot below, where some cars were already parked, and another pulled in as she watched. Two men got out, but from where she sat, she could see little more than the tops of their heads. They walked briskly, though, as though rushing to get inside, making her wonder just exactly what went on downstairs. A glass of wine appeared at her shoulder, forcing her to turn toward him to accept it. “I thought you preferred beer to wine.” “Thank you.” Careful not to touch his hand, she took the glass from him and turned back to the window, just in time to watch a pickup truck pull in. “Some occasions call for wine.” She took a healthy swallow, hoping the wine would help her settle. Royce lowered himself to the cushioned seat, running a finger over her toes that peeked out from beneath the hem of the robe she wore. “You have nothing to be embarrassed about, Brenna.” Snatching her foot away, Brenna took another sip of her wine. She let her gaze slide to his reflection in the window, unable to ignore him, but reluctant to face him after what had happened. “That’s bullshit and you know it. I was supposed to be in charge, and within just a few minutes, I completely lose control, like I’m a virgin or something, and start coming before you even touched me. You must be very proud of yourself.” She must have seemed so easy to himjust another in a long line of women who couldn’t resist him. Royce sighed, touching a finger to the underside of her chin. “Look at me, Brenna.” She pushed his hand away. “No.” She just wanted him to leave so she could get dressed and get the hell out of here. His tone softened, but still held a slight edge. “I learned early what I needed. I don’t apologize for it and I won’t accept anything less. You shouldn’t either.” Brenna held her breath as he traced a finger over her cheek. “That’s easy for you to say. You’re a Dom—the one in charge. There’s nothing

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embarrassing about that.” Coming to her feet, she moved away, taking another sip of her wine, too restless to sit any longer. Royce touched her hair, a slight brush of his fingers that made the back of her neck tingle. “There’s nothing for you to be embarrassed about. You had the courage to experiment. Now you know what you need. I’d call that a success.” Brenna snorted inelegantly, whirling to face him. “Yeah, sure. What I need is to be some man’s slave. Look, just because you have a never-ending string of women coming through here to give you what you need, it’s not like that in the real worldat least not in mine.” “Tell me.” Closing her eyes against the silky persuasion in a tone she suspected he’d mastered over the years, she swallowed heavily. She took another sip of wine, knowing that the effects of it had begun to loosen her tongue, but at this point, she figured it no longer mattered. “I’ve had a few boyfriends in the past. When sex was…lackluster, at least for me, they accused me of not liking them anymore, or worse, accused me of being too outspoken and demanding. When I tried to add a little…spice, to hint at them to be a little more active, I got shoved around and taken so fast that it was over before I could even become aroused. If I got aggressive, they just lay back and let me take over without a protest.” She took another sip of wine and shrugged. “I guess they didn’t get it and I only have myself to blame. It’s hard to explain what I want when I don’t even know myself.” She took another sip of wine, liking the way it warmed her belly. “So, I find that I want something, hell, apparently need something that’s nearly impossible to get, or explain, and you call that a success. Remarkable.” Royce came to his feet to stand behind her, his hands settling on her shoulders. “People like you—and meare the reason we opened this club. There are a lot of people out there looking for something that they can’t seem to find anywhere else, or are too embarrassed to ask for.” Unsettled by the way his light touch reawakened her desire, she tried to step away. “I don’t want just sex, Royce. I’m not like that.” Remembering what had happened only a few minutes earlier, she stared down into her glass, even more depressed. “Hell, maybe I am. I don’t know. I want more. There

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always seems to be something missing.” She shrugged, trying to hide the hurt and confusion. “Maybe I’m some kind of freak.” Royce took the now-empty glass from her hand and set it none too gently on the table next to her before gripping her shoulders and spinning her around to face him. The anger on his face sent a chill through her, making her wish she’d just kept her mouth shut. “You’re not a freak, just because you need something more. Jesus, I’m so sick of that attitude.” Running a hand through his hair, he sucked in a breath and blew it out slowly. “There’s nothing wrong with going for what you want. We all need what we need. It’s just stupid to settle for less. People like Donner give the rest of us a bad name, and then you go and compare us to him. Then, you learn that your suspicions were true, that you do need to submit, and you call yourself a freak. I’ve got news for you, Brenna, a relationship between a Dom and a sub is closer than most marriages. There’s a level of caring and trust involved that most people don’t experience in their entire lives.” His hands circled her neck, his thumbs under her chin keeping her face raised to his. His eyes glittered, holding her mesmerized. “Maybe that’s part of what you’re looking for, Brenna. The connection. You want to lose yourself with a man, or men, you can trust to keep you safetrust to care for you enough to give you what you need. You’re a passionate woman, a very passionate woman. You need someone you trust to help you explore that passion to the fullest.” She knew herself well enough to know that she wouldn’t have responded to just any man the way she had with Royce. She’d felt a connection with him, and with King, from the moment she’d met them. Scared of what they might think of her if they suspected, she kept the knowledge to herself. Her experience in the other club gave her enough insight to know that he and King could have their pick of the submissives that came to the club looking for satisfaction. She could never compete with that. She’d never wanted a man she’d have to share, knowing that when they went to work, they would be fucking other women. She knew enough about herself to know that she could never live with that. Shrugging, she lowered her eyes and turned away, picking up the bottle of wine and refilling her glass before moving back to the window.

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“Maybe you’re right, but finding such a man could prove difficult.” Hoping to change the subject, she gestured toward the window, half turning to look at him. “The club looks busy. Is it always like this?” “The club is usually busy with people like us looking for satisfaction. Tonight, though, there’s an auction.” Brenna whirled, almost spilling her wine. Shock and lust slammed into her, along with no small amount of alarm. “Do you really auction women off?” She’d found herself drawn to a world she didn’t understand and to a man she couldn’t seem to resist. Crossing his arms over his chest, Royce regarded her steadily. “Yes. Once a month.” His lips twitched. “There’s a waiting list.” A mental image of being stripped and inspected by potential bidders raced through her mind, sending a surge of lust through her, one so intense she nearly doubled over. In her mind, though, the man running his hands over her and forcing her to comply with his demands looked like Royce. Shaking her head to get rid of the image, she opened her eyes, gasping to find Royce’s face only inches from hers. He’d moved without her knowing, his footsteps silent on the plush carpeting. “That excites you. Interesting. Would you like to be auctioned off?” Lifting her chin with a firm finger, he held her eyes with his. “Many women do this in order to live out their fantasy, and some even find permanent Doms. The arrangement is for one night only, but after that, who knows? It’s entirely up to them.” The wave of longing inside grew with a force and speed that staggered her. Still shaken from what had happened earlier, she jerked away from him, her breathing labored. “No. I couldn’t. I can’t just sleep with anyone.” She gulped down the rest of the wine in her glass and set it aside, her hands shaking so hard she feared she would drop the delicate glass. “What would it be like?” The words slipped out before she even knew she would utter them, and with a strangled cry, she whirled away, gripping the back of the large chaise for support. “No. I don’t want to know. Forget I asked.” She sucked in a breath when Royce crowded her from behind, a low moan escaping when his hands went to the belt of her robe.

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“You do like that. Is that one of your fantasies? To have a man want you so badly, he’d fight others to have you? To belong to him? To be helpless? Inspected? Explored?” He worked the belt of her robe loose with slow, deliberate intention, holding on to the ends. “First, King and I would prepare you. We’d take all of your clothing, blindfold you, and tie your hands together behind you. You wouldn’t be able to cover yourself at all, or stop anyone from touching you.” Brenna watched his hands, fascinated at the smooth strength in them, lost in a web of seduction as his cool, silky tone poured over her. He let the robe part, still holding the ends of the belt. “You would have already bathed in scented salts, and would be required to have your pussy shaved. Have you ever had your pussy shaved?” Brenna sucked in a breath when the robe parted even more and fell from her shoulders to puddle at her feet. “Once. I—umdid it for a bboyfriend. As a surprise.Royce stilled behind her. “Why did you do that? Did he ever ask you

to?”

“No. I just thought it would—um—inspire him.” “I take it from your tone, it didn’t. Pity. If you belonged to King and me, you would be required to keep your pussy waxed and smooth at all times. I want nothing hidden from me.” His lips touched her ear. “I’m already inspired.” Warm heat flowed over her, like the thickest honey. Her skin suddenly felt too hot and tight to contain her excitement. Her imagination went wild, wondering what it would be like to be Royce and King’s possession—to have them touch her and do things to her she’d only dreamed about. Royce touched the ends of the robe he still held against her nipples. Tell me what happened.” Struggling to concentrate, Brenna gripped the back of the chaise until her fingers hurt. “He—he liked itbut then it was over so fast—I didn’t bother anymore.” The feel of his cock pressing against her back made her weak at the knees. Her ragged breathing sounded loud in the room. She didn’t care. She just wanted to feel. More. Anything he would give her. Using the ends of the soft belt, Royce traced a pattern over her belly, making her stomach muscles quiver.

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“Pity. A woman like you needs to have her passions explored—needs to have her boundaries crumbled and pushed beyond what she thinks are her limits. You need to be taken, Brenna, in ways that you’ve never been taken. You need to belong, as you’ve never belonged to anyone before.” No longer caring about anything but pleasure, Brenna fell back against himdrawn inconnected—in a way she didn’t entirely understand. “How? How can I do that? I wouldn’t know where to begin.” “You begin right here. Let’s begin to explore together, Brenna.” Not sure she understood exactly what he meant, she sucked in a breath, gripping his forearms as the belt moved lower and caressed her mound. She’d give anything to be his right now, knowing that belonging to him, even for a short time, would go a long way toward fulfilling her fantasies. Struggling to keep her voice steady, Brenna took a shuddering breath. “What do you mean? Are you asking me to stay until the next auction?” She closed her eyes against the tears that stung them, hoping with everything inside her that he would pull her against him and tell her she belonged to him. Just the thought of any other man touching her filled her with revulsion. She wanted Royce. Her body knew its master, and her soul knew that this was the man she’d been waiting a lifetime for. Royce tensed behind her. “If that’s what you want.” His cool tone had a bite to it that sent a chill running up and down her spine. “You stay here for the next month and King and I will teach you all you need to know about submission. When the auction comes up next month, you’ll be auctioned off to the highest bidder. That is what you want, isn’t it?

“Yes.” But only if it’s you! Brenna wanted to cry. Feeling bereft at the distance in his tone, she tried to move away, but Royce used his body to crowd her against the back of the chaise. Trembling, she swallowed a sob. “None of the men there will be anything like Donner, will they?” “No. They won’t. The man—or menwho buy you will give you everything you need.”

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Fisting her hands on the back of the chaise, she stood stiffly. “I still don’t understand how a woman can enjoy being beaten.” “Not beaten. Whipped. Spanked. From this minute on, you’re a submissive in training. You obey King and me to the letter. Believe me, we’ll spend the next month putting you through your paces, and teaching you to submit completely to us. By the end of the month, you’ll beg to be spanked, whipped, restrained, and made to do things you’re not going to be comfortable doing. And you’ll beg for more. Do you know why?” If he spoke to her in that erotically silky tone, she’d do anything he asked. WWhy?” “Because you’ll become addicted. Once you experience the pleasure of surrendering, you won’t be able to live without it. It gets in your blood. You’re already beginning to crave it, aren’t you?” “Yes.” He turned her in his arms, wrapping a hand in her hair to pull her head back and staring into her eyes, his own dark and hooded. “So it’s agreed. You’ll belong to King and me for the next month. You’ll be ours to do with as we please. We’ll teach you to submit, and the rewards to be gained from surrendering yourself completely. Agreed?” God help her, she couldn’t deny this chance, one she may never have in her life again. She’d fill this month with memories that she could carry with her. She’d never forgive herself if she walked away now. She’d know if this was what she’d been missing. She had to lick her dry lips before speaking. “Agreed.” Royce released her with a speed that stunned her and stepped away, leaving her feeling bereft. “Get some rest. Tomorrow, Sebastian will come up with a contract for you to sign. Once you sign it, we begin.” Brenna watched him walk away, fighting not to run after him. He turned at the doorway. “You’ll be locked in. If you need something, pick up the phone and Sebastian will get it for you.” “Why are you locking me in?” Royce raised a brow, his eyes unreadable. “You’re my possession now, Brenna. I always keep the things most valuable to me under lock and key. Sleep well. You’re going to need your rest for tomorrow.”

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Brenna watched him go, her body still trembling with need. Turning, she went to the table to pour the last glass of wine from the bottle, not even bothering to put on the robe. It would be too hot anyway. Feeling more sensuous than she’d ever felt in her life, she took another sip of wine and let her fingers trail over her breasts and lower. Maybe if she masturbated, she could relieve some of this tension and get some sleep. The ringing of the phone startled her. Jumping to her feet, she raced to it, lifting the receiver with no small amount of trepidation. “Hello?” “Keep those hands away from that pussy and clit. Since you’re my property now, I’ve turned on the camera in your room. I’ll be watching you. That body belongs to me now and I haven’t given you permission to touch it.”

Brenna blinked, setting the glass of wine on the end table for fear of spilling it. “What?” “Your orgasms belong to me as well. You won’t be permitted to come without my permission. Go to bed. Now.” The phone clicked in her ear before she could reply. Not daring to defy him for fear that he would change his mind, she hurriedly scrambled into the bed, pulling the covers high. Reaching over, she turned off the light, plunging the room into darkness. She needed release desperately, but she needed Royce to give it to her. It was a long time before she slept.

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Chapter Four

“Nice.” King’s grin widened. “Very nice. That gives us an entire month with Red.” He leaned back in his chair, folding his hands behind his head, surreptitiously attempting to ease the knots that had grown steadily tighter all evening. He usually enjoyed the auction. He looked forward to the sexual tension in the room and the thrill of heightening the women’s arousal by allowing the other men to inspect what they bid on. He loved the teasing, loved whipping the men attending and the women into a frenzy. Tonight, however, he’d been distracted, his mind on a pint-size redhead, and what Royce was doing to her. Anticipation rushed through his veins, warming him more effectively than the shot of good whiskey he’d had just before coming upstairs. They’d closed the club just a short time ago, and in less than an hour the sun would be rising. He knew he should try to get some sleep, but also knew he wouldn’t be able to rest until he heard more about what happened this evening between Royce and Brenna. Sitting in the large room that separated his and Royce’s bedrooms, King shifted to a more comfortable position, his cock still hard from listening to his friend’s account of tonight’s encounter with Brenna. He eyed his business partner and friend, curious about the turmoil swirling in his eyes. “You’re too quiet. Is something about Red bothering you?” To his surprise, Royce moved to the window and stared out, his expression closed. “No.” King sat up. “So you didn’t tell her that we normally don’t train submissives—or that we don’t see them until the morning of the auction? You didn’t tell her that Sebastian usually prepares them and we don’t even see them until it’s time to blindfold them and lead them out?”

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“No.” “Interesting.” He sat back again, his eyes drifting once again to the large-screen television. Smiling when Brenna rolled over again, he glanced at Royce. “I’ve been thinking about her all night. The mood you’ve been in ever since you came down to the auction only makes me more curious. You said she came before you really had a chance to touch her?” Royce crossed the room and sat on the large sofa, staring at the television screen, his bland expression not fooling King for a minute. “Not enough to give her any satisfaction. Then, she ran out.” King found himself looking forward, very much, to the time he would be spending with Brenna later on in the day. “And now she wants to experience life as a submissive to prepare for being sold at next month’s auction?” Royce sighed, never taking his eyes from the screen, frowning when Brenna turned again. “She’s awfully restless, isn’t she? She’ll probably be tired tomorrow. Why don’t you let me—” “No.” King came to his feet and stretched. “You got her tonight. Tomorrow, she’s mine—something I’m looking forward to very much.” To his surprise, Royce shot to his feet. “Be easy with her. She’s not used to this.” He scrubbed a hand over his face, his eyes going back to the screen. “She doesn’t even know what she wants. She still can’t understand how a woman could like erotic pain. She’s never experienced it, King.” He sighed again. “It’ll probably be temporary, just until the auction. She hasn’t experienced any of this. She would have no idea what men like us would expect from her.” King nodded, eyeing Royce thoughtfully. “Then I guess it’s up to us to show her.” For the first time since they’d come back upstairs, Royce smiled, a slow smile filled with a combination of devious intent and something that looked remarkably like concern. “Yeah, I guess it is.” King studied his friend, wondering if Royce realized that he was trying to convince himself not to get too attached to Brenna by reminding himself that this was only temporary. Royce had already started to fall for her. Suddenly, tomorrow seemed a long time away.

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* * * *

Brenna’s hand shook as she signed the contract that had been on the tray with her breakfast, a contract that would be broken as soon as she used her safe word. When Sebastian came to retrieve it along with her tray, he informed her that Master King would be arriving soon and she should be showered and ready for him. She’d been shocked to find that sometime during the night, all of her clothing had disappeared from the room, leaving her nothing to wear except the robe she’d worn the night before. She’d been pacing for the last fifteen minutes, nervous about King coming for her. She would have felt more comfortable if she knew that she would be spending time with Royce. After all, she knew him a little better, while King was a virtual stranger. She didn’t know him or what he had planned for her. She knew, though, that if she used her safe word with him, she would never be able to be with Royce again. All night she’d thought about Royce, and remembered the need glittering in his eyes. She desperately wanted the chance to be with him again, to see if she could give back some of the pleasure he gave her. In order to do that, she had to be strong, and endure whatever King had planned for her. She was confident in herself to a certain degree, but had serious doubts that she would ever be able to handle a man like King. Masculine. Possessive. Wicked. Powerful. She saw it in his eyes, felt it in his touch. In bed, a man like King would be a force to be reckoned with, one that no woman would be able to tame. Pacing back across the room toward the window, she gasped in surprise as the door swung open, whirling toward it. Her mouth went dry, her heart pounding nearly out of her chest. King stood just inside her room, wearing black leather pants and boots, his wide, muscular chest bare. He looked larger than life, and easily the most threatening man she’d ever encountered in her life. His chest was

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huge, the muscles in it, and in the arms he crossed over it, appearing even larger without his shirt. Filling the doorway, he oozed strength and masculinity. She’d never been with a man so frightening. She automatically took a step back, her eyes raking over him. She nearly stumbled when she saw the short whip dangling from his belt, one with several leather strips at the end. “Hello, Red. It appears you belong to us for the next month. Do you understand what that means?” Shivering at the cool, gravelly tone in his voice, Brenna nodded. “I think

so.”

King smiled coldly. “You’d better know so before we go any further. It means that you belong to us. We can do whatever we want to do with you, within reason. Neither Royce nor I will do anything to you from which you can’t recover. If you use your safe word, it’s over. That body belongs to us. To touch. To taste. To explore. To fuck. To punishwhenever we want, and to the extent that we want. It was all spelled out for you in the contract you signed.” Brenna nodded again, remembering some of the things mentioned in the contract, and not wanting to admit that she’d been too nervous and distracted to absorb all of it. Just the thought of Royce doing some of those things to her had aroused her beyond belief. To imagine allowing King that kind of complete access terrified her. “So, Red, I want to see what belongs to me.” Brenna blinked. “Excuse me?” Unfolding his arms, King came forward. “You’re hiding my property from me. I want to see it. Take off the robe.” Glancing at the open doorway, Brenna hesitated. “All of my clothes are gone.” King inclined his head, his eyes going hard and cold. “I know. If Royce or I want you to wear something, we’ll provide it. Otherwise, you’ll have a robe, one that you’ll remove when I tell you to.” He came forward, his long legs covering the ground between them at a speed that terrified her. Brenna panicked and took several steps back, crying out when he grabbed the belt of the robe and tossed it aside.

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Taking her chin in his strong grip, King lifted her face to his, running his thumb over her lips as though testing their softness. “I dislike explaining myself, Red. I know you’re new to this, which is why I’m going to let this slide. Once. When I tell you to do something, I expect to be obeyed. Immediately. Take off the robe, Red, or use your safe word. Now.” Releasing her, he stepped back, his eyes narrowed as he waited. Trembling at his touch and chilled by his cold, distant tone, Brenna swallowed heavily, nearly breathless at being so close to him. Heat poured from him, the bunch and shift of the clearly defined muscles in front of her making her hands itch to reach out and touch him. “Hesitation and refusal to obey will earn you punishments. Is that how we have to begin?” Brenna blinked, snapping her head up to meet his gaze again. “No. I’m sorry, I just…” He looked pointedly at where she held the edges of her robe together before meeting her eyes again, lifting a brow expectantly. “Well?” Nodding again, Brenna released the tight grip she had on her robe, sucking in a sharp breath at the surge of awareness going through her when King’s gaze lowered to the skin she’d revealed. Her stomach tightened as she shrugged the robe from her shoulders, her nipples beaded tight under his stare. Vulnerable and insecure, she wrapped her arms around herself, one over her breasts, the other hand over her mound. King frowned in disproval. “You think hiding what belongs to me from me is allowed? Put your hands at your sides. Don’t ever try to hide yourself from me again.” Shaking uncontrollably now, Brenna let her hands fall to her sides, standing stiffly under his intense scrutiny. She couldn’t remember ever feeling so completely defenseless and, short of using her safe word and taking a chance of never being with Royce again, there was nothing she could do about it. The only thing she wore was the choker Royce had placed around her neck the day before. It suddenly felt tighter and heavier than ever, a sharp reminder that she’d been branded as theirs.

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She’d already made the decision to explore this fantasy, and even though she was scared, the excitement and beginnings of lust bubbling through her veins wouldn’t let her quit now. “Head up. Shoulders back. Thrust those breasts out.” Shocked at the surge of heat and rush of moisture from her pussy, she sucked in a breath and obeyed him, her nipples so tight they ached. Pressing her thighs together, she stood as still as she could, her breathing becoming harsh as he circled behind her. Her skin burned everywhere his gaze lingered, every inch of her body coming alive with need. He came back around, stepping back and staring at her mound. “You’ll go to the spa tomorrow and have that pussy waxed. I don’t like it hidden from me, and once you’ve been waxed, you’ll be more sensitive there.” She remembered the feel of it from the time she’d shaved her mound a few years ago, but she couldn’t imagine what it would be like feel so bared with King and Royce. She would love to find out, though. She met his eyes, her cheeks burning. “Okay.” His brows went up, his brilliant gaze holding hers. “It was an order, Red, not a request. Follow me into the playroom. Royce tells me that he didn’t get a chance to finish inspecting you.” He turned and walked away, leaving her to follow behind him, somehow knowing when she bent to retrieve the robe. “Leave the robe, Red. Move.” Scurrying to catch up with him, Brenna couldn’t help but feel self- conscious when she stepped out into the hallway. Despite Royce’s assurance that others didn’t come to this floor, she knew Sebastian did, and nearly sagged in relief to find the hallway empty. As she followed King to the far end, she hoped Royce would appear, knowing his presence would ease some of her anxiety, an anxiety that increased the closer they got to the heavy wood door. She found it more difficult to keep her arms at her sides than she would have imagined, but she didn’t dare cover herself, glad that she hadn’t when they reached the room and King turned, his eyes raking over her. He pushed the door open, gesturing for her to precede him. “Very good. You didn’t try to cover yourself. I know you wanted to. Since you’ll be

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naked most of the time, you’ll get a little more used to it. Not entirely, though.” His cold smile sent a shiver through her. “We wouldn’t want that to happen. That sense of vulnerability you feel now at being naked will never completely go away. Go stand over there.” He closed the door behind him, the click of the heavy door catching making her jump. The first thing that that struck her was that every light had been turned on, illuminating the entire room, and allowing her to see items she probably would have been better off not seeing. Shelves filled with a variety of ominous-looking leather and metal contraptions that she had a feeling would be used on her at some point lined an entire wall. Tables and benches of different heights and sizes stood scattered around the room, almost each one made of leather. Looking in the direction King pointed, Brenna gulped, her steps faltering when she saw the chains hanging from the ceiling and lying next to a bar on the floor. She couldn’t help it. She stopped, looking at him fearfully, her mind racing. “What are you going to do to me?” King’s cold smile chilled her. “I’m going to beat your ass if you hesitate or question me again. Stand right here.” It took a tremendous amount of willpower not to cover herself as she rushed to where he pointed. Painfully aware of her nakedness, she lifted her gaze to King’s in a desperate attempt to find a clue to what he was thinking, but his expression remained closed, his eyes remote and assessing. “Very good. There’ll be no running away like you did with Royce. Frankly, I’m surprised that he allowed it. He must be getting soft.” Brenna shivered. She couldn’t even imagine what he would do to her if he thought Royce had been soft. “Put your hands over your head and grab the bar above you.” The sharp demand in his voice had her scrambling to obey him. Lifting her arms, she became aware of how the movement lifted her breasts, leaving them even more vulnerable. The feel of the leather pants he wore brushing over her bare bottom made her stomach jolt and sent a fresh wave of moisture to coat her thighs.

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She hadn’t expected to become so excited with King, his cool presence and hardness nothing like the way Royce had been with her yesterday. She looked up at the bar as he wrapped something around her wrist, instinctively trying to jerk away when she saw him wrapping a strap around it.

“No. Don’t do this. I’ll be still.” King chuckled. “No doesn’t work in this room. Just use your safe word, and you’re free to leave.” She couldn’t do that and he knew it. Trembling, she watched helplessly while he fastened the buckles. Once he finished, she tested the bonds, her alarm growing when they didn’t give at all. “I think I hate you. Royce is much nicer.” She had no idea what prompted her to provoke him, and wished she could call the words back, but it was too late. King stilled and moved around to stand in front of her, his fingers closing around her nipples, pinching them until she cried out and went to her toes. “Don’t ever try to play one of us against the other. Believe me, Royce can be just as cruel and devious as I am. Spread those legs, Red.” Shocked at the surge of lust at the sharp pain in her nipples, Brenna had to grab the bar tighter to remain upright. She didn’t want to admit to herself how much it excited her, and she sure as hell didn’t want him to see in case it spurred him to do something even more wicked to her. Releasing her nipples, he knelt at her feet, running his fingers through the curls at her mound. “It’s nice to see that you’re a natural redhead, but this has to go. I want to see and feel that pussy without anything in my way.” Trembling with need, she looked down, shaking even more when he pulled her legs wide, hooking them to either end of a bar, which he then attached to the floor. Frightened at being put in such a completely defenseless position, she bit her lip, struggling to control her ragged breathing. King stepped back, eyeing her critically before nodding. “Very good. Now I can inspect my property. If you speak, other than to use your safe

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word or answer my questions, I’ll gag you, then you won’t be able to use your safe word at all.” “Yes. Do it.” Brenna shook, her arousal so intense she wanted to scream. “I’m not going to be able to be quiet and I don’t want to use my safe word. I’m going to mess this up. I know it. Please. Don’t let me. I want, no, I need to do this. I need to see Royce again. Please, just gag me and do whatever you want.” King grinned, but she would swear she saw a flash of anger and hurt in his eyes. “Interesting. You’re really worked up over having to deal with me, aren’t you? It also appears you have no idea what submitting is all about. Well. Let’s see how well you do without the gag. I think I want to hear you beg, Red.” “Please take me.” King’s brow went up. “Do you mean fuck you?” “Yes. Fuck me. Please. I can’t stand any more.” His eyes hardened, making him even more intimidating. “When I want to fuck you, Red, I’ll fuck you. I don’t need your permission, remember? You haven’t done anything to deserve my cock. You can’t be still and you can’t shut up. You’ve been so bad that I might not even let you come today.” “I’ll do anything you want. Just don’t hurt me or let me use my safe word.Holding her gaze, his eyes watchful, King cupped her breasts, rolling her nipples between his thumbs and forefingers, and then just as quickly, released them, slapping the underside of her breasts. “You’ll do anything anyway. You have no choice, Red. Have you ever had your nipples clamped?” With her breasts on fire and the waves of heat flowing to her center, Brenna had trouble concentrating. Closing her eyes, she swallowed heavily, crying out, her eyes popping open when her nipples were pinched again. “Answer me, Red.” “I—uh—sort of.” King’s brows went up. “What do you mean, sort of? Either they’ve been clamped or they haven’t.”

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Brenna shuddered at the memory. “I tr–tried to gget my bboyfriend to be more…and I bought them, but didn’t have the nerve to ask him to use them. I pput them on m–myself, but it hurt too much.” King ran a thumb over her chin. “You’ve fantasized about it but couldn’t get what you wanted?” Brenna nodded, slightly panicked that he would clamp her nipples now, while they were so vulnerable. “He said I was too bossy and demanding. You’re not going to clamp them now, are you?” The thought of having them clamped when they were so sensitive and when she could do nothing to stop him scared her to death, but also excited her enough that a fresh rush of moisture coated her thighs. She’d die if he found out. King chuckled coldly. “You have a right to be scared. Believe me, Red, I’m bossier and more demanding than you could ever be. When you’re in this position, I can clamp your nipples and there isn’t a thing you can do about it. You’re very lucky that today is only an inspection. Have you ever sucked cock?” Brenna nodded, her stomach fluttering at having a man like King weak and desperate as she sucked him to completion. “A few times.” Her eyes went to the bulge at the front of his leather pants, her mouth watering. She’d love to have the chance to feel him shake with arousal and become putty in her hands. “Have you ever been forced to suck cock?” Her gaze flew to his, once again dropping to take in his massive chest and arms. He could force her so easily. He could make her get on her knees and shove his cock into her mouth and suck him. The thought of being bound while he did this, his hands fisting into her hair to work his cock in and out of her mouth, sent another wave of longing through her. “N–No.” The few men she’d been with would never have had the balls to try. King cupped her jaw, forcing her mouth open. He ran a finger back and forth over her bottom lip, startling her at the absolute dominance in such a simple act. “You will. When I think you’re ready, I’m going to shove my cock between these soft, pink lips and teach you how to take me all the way to your throat.

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Keeping her face lifted, he ran a hand down her body to her center. Avoiding her clit, he slid a hand between her thighs and sank a finger into her pussy with a firm thrust that forced a cry from her. Brenna bit her lip to hold back another cry, but couldn’t smother her moan. Her toes curled in an effort to prevent her pussy from clamping down on him. He pressed against her pussy walls as if testing her and moved his finger inside her with a firm touch, holding her gaze with his steely one the entire time he explored her. Those tingling waves began, tightening her pussy on his finger as her orgasm raced toward her. She tried to stop it, to hold herself steady, but couldn’t. She didn’t want to come with King. She wanted Royce. Coming now would be like a betrayal to Royce. King was too rough, too raw in his dominance. Her body wouldn’t listen, trembling helplessly at his touch, each stroke like fingers of electricity moving over herinside her. Her body tightened, her breath coming out in gasps as the pressure built. She stiffened, sucking in a breath at the powerful wave inside her. She only needed one more stroke. With a growl, King slid his finger free with a speed that left her clenching at emptiness, cries of distress pouring out of her. Tears of frustration blurred her vision. “No. Please don’t stop. I was starting to come. I need—” “Quiet!” He slapped her breast, a light slap on her nipple that sent another jolt of sizzling heat to her clit. Her frantic cries echoed in the room as she wiggled as much as the bonds would allow in an effort to get closer. King tapped her nipple, his eyes hooded and watchful as she squirmed and cried out again. “I know damned well you were starting to come. You’re not dealing with one of your boyfriends, Red. I know what you need, perhaps better than you do. You’re remarkably passionate, and probably the most naturally submissive woman I’ve ever met. Have you ever had this clit clamped?” Just imagining it scared her to death. Her fantasies had never involved anything painful. “It would hurt.”

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The cold smile King gave her scared her even more. “That’s entirely the point, Red. You’ll love it.” “But—” King’s brow went up as he tapped her nipple again, keeping her body primed. “You want to be sold at auction. You really don’t think the Master who pays handsomely for you is going to allow you to dictate terms, do you?” “King, I—” “Master. When you wish to address me in this room, you will refer to me as Master.” Brenna bristled at his arrogance, but some part, deep inside, got an erotic thrill from it, one that left her stammering. “M–Master.” The word stuck in her throat, but sounded so right. I don’t think I could stand that.” King ran his fingers over her belly and thighs, his touch light and exploring as though testing the resiliency of her skin. “When you’re aroused enough, and you need relief enough, you’ll take anything I give you. You’ll do absolutely anything you’re told to do without hesitation. It’s going to be a hard lesson for someone as headstrong as you are to accept, but you’ll have to.” He sounded just a little distracted, as though talking to himself as his fingers moved lower. As passionate as you are, I think it’ll be a long time before we reach your limits.” Lifting his gaze to hers, his eyes full of curiosity and fascination, he ran a finger over her clit. With her legs spread in a wide stance that kept her folds parted, she couldn’t do a thing to get away from the sizzling heat, no matter how hard she struggled. It took every ounce of willpower she possessed to keep from crying out at the growing pressure. She didn’t want to come with King—especially when he watched her with that possessive look in his eyes. What would it be like to belong to such a man? “You’re a magnificent sub, one that any Master would be thrilled to take on.”

Something in his eyes, regret perhaps, and a wonder she found irresistible, had her arching to get close to him. The words tumbled from her lips before she could stop them. “Would you like to try? I mean, instead of auctioning me off?”

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His eyes softened, the hands at her waist clenching once before he released her and turned away. “We’ll have to see about that, Red. But make no mistakeif I decide to be your Master, there would be no trying about it.” He moved to stand behind her, his breath warm against her ear. His fingers moved over the silver choker around her neck. Although he didn’t touch her anywhere else, she felt the heat from his body all along the back of hers. “You’re going to have to prove that you want to be mastered. Forever. Every day. You’re going to have to prove that you can handle having two Masters in your life. Do you have any idea how close a Master and submissive get? It’s a strong bond, Red, one that most people can’t handle. I’m not about to get wrapped up in a woman who can’t go the distance. Remember, Royce and I share women. You would belong to both of us. Our property.” Brenna shivered at the deep rumble in his soft voice. Her nipples beaded even tighter, her breasts feeling swollen and heavy. Her bottom clenched at the brush of his leg against it. Being tied in this wide-open position left her so open and exposed, the air caressing her slit increasing her sense of vulnerability. “I don’t think I know how to submit. Teach me.” King cursed under his breath and straightened, his hands moving over the globes of her ass. “Have you ever been fucked in the ass?” Her bottom tightened in response, the puckered opening tingling with awareness. She’d always wished one of her boyfriends would suggest it, but they hadn’t, and she’d been too embarrassed to ask for it herself. She gulped. “N–No.” Her choked answer seemed to please him immensely. Inwardly cursing the show of weakness, she lifted her chin, trying to ignore the way her nipples tingled for attention. Instead of filling her pussy with his finger again, or stroking her clit the way she expected, he ran his hands over the cheeks of her ass. His lips touched her ear, his words slow and deep. “A virgin ass. Mine to explore. I wonder how much you’ll like having your ass breached. Explored. Stretched. Used. Fucked. Filled with whatever I want to fill you

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with at my whim. You’ll fight me. Yes, Red, you will. You’ll never be completely tamed, but it would be a hell of a lot of fun to try.” Brenna closed her eyes, trying to clench her bottom closed, but with her legs spread so wide, she couldn’t. “I don’t know if I can, King, um, Master. I’ve never—” “You don’t have a choice, remember, Red? This ass is mine. I can use it as I see fit. I can give it to someone else to use if I choose.” Her stomach dropped. She was already in over her head with him. She couldn’t imagine trying to get used to someone else. “No! Please. I can’t. I only want to belong to you and Royce. I can’t give myself to anyone else.” King slapped her ass, a sharp slap that surprised her with its heat. No man she’d been with had ever had the nerve to spank her before, one of her darkest fantasies. “You give nothing. This ass is mine to give, not yours. How do you expect to be auctioned off if you don’t want another man to touch you? Every man in the room will be able to handle the merchandise up for sale. I can bend you over and let every man in the room take turns shoving their fingers inside your ass, and there won’t be a damned thing you could do about it.” Brenna shook, unable to bear the thought of any man other than Royce or King touching her. Even though neither one of them had actually taken her, she already felt as if she belonged to them more than she’d ever belonged to any man. The lingering heat on her bottom spread, making her hot all over. Hot. So hot. No one but Royce and King had ever made her feel this way. Now that she’d had a taste of it, she wanted more. Much more. Throwing her head back, she groaned. “Please. I don’t want anyone else to touch me.” “You’ll change your mind. A few minutes ago, you didn’t want me to touch you, remember?” King scraped his teeth over her shoulder, sending a thrill of alarm through her. King laughed softly, a sinful laugh that sent shivers up her spine. “Now, you’re trembling with need, and you shiver each time I touch you. Your thighs are soaked with your juices.” He ran a finger over her inner thigh. “Soaked, and I’ve barely touched you.”

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Bending low, he unhooked her feet from the bar, keeping them spread wide, and helped her straighten before reaching over her head to release her wrists. Free from restraints, she had to lock her knees to keep from falling. Turning, she flattened her hands on his chest, marveling at the feel of his huge muscles bunching under her palm. “What do you want me to do?” Wincing at the tremor in her voice, she dug her fingers into him, needing the contact and the strength of it to steady her.

King looked pointedly at her hands before lifting his head, a dark brow going up. “Did I give you permission to touch me?” Brenna jerked her hands away, afraid that in her inexperience, she would do something that would make him change his mind. “No. I’m sorry. I didn’t—” “No, what?” Brenna shivered again at the steel in his tone, stiffening so he wouldn’t notice. Staring into his eyes, she suddenly realized what he wanted. “No, Master. I’m sorry, I didn’t realize I wasn’t allowed to touch you.” Something seemed to be changing. She found herself more in tune with him by the minutemore aware of his mood and sensitive to the changes in his tone. Calling him Master didn’t seem as ridiculous as it had just moments earlier. She wanted to earn another of those smiles from him. She wanted to be special to himto give him more pleasure than any woman ever had. To her relief, King’s lips curved. “I know, Red. You’ll learn. It’s my job to teach you. I just don’t know if you’re strong enough to take on two Masters.” Bristling at the idea of her not being strong enough when her strength had scared away every boyfriend, Brenna opened her mouth to tell him that only her inexperience made it possible for him to shake her now. He touched her lips when she attempted to speak, effectively silencing her. “All the words in the world won’t convince me. You’re going to have to prove it.” Brenna snapped her mouth closed, surprised when he led her to one of the smaller benches.

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“Bend over this and spread your legs.” Willing to bet that he’d purposely used an icy tone to scare her, Brenna nodded once, trying not to look as nervous as she felt. Her bottom clenched tight, his threat of taking her ass still echoing in her mind. Shaking, she bent over the cool, leather bench, one that stood at an angle so that when she bent over it, her hips were higher than her head. “Spread those legs, Red.” A rush of moisture escaped at the command in his uncompromising tone. It was the tone of a man in charge, one who wouldn’t accept anything less than complete surrender. Instead of scaring her, the confidence in it gave her a sense of security, one that warmed her from the inside. She had no doubt of King’s ability to handle whatever came up. She would rely on his experience and strength to guide her. Trusting him now a little more, she found her arousal sharpening. Her bottom hole clenched tight against the sensation of the air moving over it. She had a feeling King would be well aware of the vulnerability she would be feeling at knowing he could see her pussy, ass, and clit, and she couldn’t see him at all. He seemed to be an expert at arousing her mind as well as her body, one of the aspects of intimacy she realized she’d been searching for. Gripping the padded bench, she closed her eyes tightly and obeyed him, spreading her feet as wide apart as she could. And waited. She waited, not daring to move, curious and apprehensive about what he would do to her. Resisting the urge to turn her head to see him, she remained in that position, her nerves stretched to the breaking point. She gasped at the sound of the door opening, jolting and turning to look over her shoulder, stopping abruptly when his deep voice rang out. “Don’t you dare move.” King’s tone promised retribution if she disobeyed him, but the thought of someone else seeing her this way mortified her. Fighting tears, she forced her shaking legs to remain in that position and squeezed her eyes even more tightly closed. “M–Master?”

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A hand slid over her bottom, a touch she recognized from the day before. “Yes, my darling sub?” Slumping at the sound of Royce’s amused tone, Brenna opened her eyes and looked over her shoulder at him. “I—umKing wants to put me in the auction, too.” She cried out at the hard pinch to her clit, alarmed that she started to come at the sharp pain. Writhing, she cried out again as another rush of moisture escaped, coating her already drenched thighs. Royce released her almost immediately. “Who?” “Master King!” Brenna kicked her feet, wiggling her ass in an effort to get some relief. King sighed. “Master Royce has been watching us the entire time, Red. I told you. We share. He knows everything I do to you and I know what he does. You signed the contract, remember? The contract that says we will train you to be sold at the next auction. Now, be quiet.” She heard soft sounds, but couldn’t identify them, her mind whirling with the fact that both men stood between her splayed thighs, and that Royce now wore leather pants similar to the ones that King wore. Rubbing a hand over her bottom, King sighed again. “She’s completely undisciplined.” “I’ll do better. Ow!” A sharp slap landed, this time on the delicate skin at the top of her thigh. She didn’t want to think about the heat that quickly spread to her slit. She was so close to coming that she feared only willpower would keep her from going over. King sighed again. “Like I said, she’s totally undisciplined. She speaks when she isn’t supposed to. She can’t hold back her orgasm, something we’d really have to work on if we’re going to try to train her. She’s got a temper. You can see it in her eyes. It’s going to have to be overcome. She questions everything, and can’t quite latch on to the concept that we own her body now, not her. I really don’t think a month is going to be enough time to train her.” Royce ran his fingertips through the moisture coating her inner thighs. “She is passionate, though. Full of fire. You’re right, though. I just don’t think she’s adventurous enough to see this through. Or disciplined enough.” “Agreed. She touched me, for God’s sake, and without permission.”

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Royce continued to stroke her inner thigh, moving closer and closer to her slit. “On the other hand, we can’t give up. We made a promise and signed a contract. She’s new at this. We’ll just work with her as much as we can. At least the Dom who buys her will get someone already partially trained. He’ll have to finish her training himself.” Brenna shuddered, unnerved by the way they talked about her as though she wasn’t there, and shaken at the thought of being sold to a stranger. “I’ll be good. I swear. I just want to be here. I don’t want to go to anyone else. I want to stay here with you.Never in her life could she ever have imagined uttering those words, but at that moment, they seemed perfect. King slapped her ass again. “I swear, if you open that mouth again, I’m going to gag you. You want to prove that you’ll do anything? You want to show us that we own every inch of you? Part those ass cheeks and let us see what we own.” Scared to speak, Brenna spread her legs a little wider. Royce clicked his tongue. “With your hands, Brenna. Spread those cheeks.” Oh, God! Reaching back, she gripped her ass cheeks and spread them, wincing at the pinch at her puckered opening. Shaking in earnest now, she buried her face against the leather, feeling their stares. She never even knew she could feel so vulnerable. The ease in which they smashed through every defense stunned her, earning her respect as nothing else could have. She wanted them to take her, touch her, bend her to their will. In giving herself over to them, she found something she’d spent years looking for, and wouldn’t give it up without a fight. King patted her ass. “Very good. Now, beg me to inspect your ass. Don’t forget to address me properly.” “Oh, God!” “Not even close.” His amused tone fired her temper. “Why do I have to ask for it? I thought you said you owned me.” King sighed. “We do, but we want you to understand that you’re giving yourself to us. We’re not taking. But, once you give it, we won’t allow you to take it back. Each part of you that you give to us is ours, Reduntil we

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give it to someone else. Now, do you have something to say to me, or would you like to leave now?” She couldn’t believe they were making her do this. Drawing a shaking breath, she squeezed her eyes closed before letting it out again. “M–Master, please inspect my ass.” “Of course, Red.” Brenna let out a strangled cry when a large, lubed finger pressed against her puckered opening and forced its way inside her. Curling her toes, she struggled to adapt to the extremely decadent and foreign sensation. She’d never felt anything so intimate. She’d never felt so owned. He began to move his finger, pressing against the inner walls of her anus, his finger circling, as though he wanted to make sure he didn’t miss a single spot. Fighting to remain still proved difficult, especially since she kept losing her grip on the cheeks of her ass. Overwhelmed at the decadent assault, she shook uncontrollably, whimpered cries pouring from her. Her thoughts jumbled as she tried to keep track of Royce and King’s conversation, in case they said something to her. But the roaring in her head and her ragged breathing and whimpers made it hard to hear anything, especially while struggling to remain still under the most intimate and shocking experience of her life. King said something low to Royce, who answered in a tone just as low, making it impossible for her to make out what they were saying. King moved his finger inside her, rotating it before pushing deep. Brenna cried out, groaning as her body gathered, and the warning tingles grew sharper. She was going to come! Oh, God! With his finger in her ass! Gulping in air, she tightened against it, knowing she’d never be able to look either one of them in the face again if she came now. King pressed a hand at her lower back, slipping the finger in her ass almost free. Keeping it at her opening, he pressed against the tight ring of muscle, making it burn. “I don’t believe it. I’m inspecting her and she’s about to come. It’s going to take a lot of patience to train someone so responsive and so undisciplined.” “Let me feel.”

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One finger slid from her, and just a second or two later, another slid deep. Tears stung her eyes, the need to come overwhelming. “I can’t help it. I’m sorry. I’m gonna—ah!” The finger in her ass thrust deep and began stroking, fucking her with a force that made it nearly impossible to breathe. It hurt a little, but the pain only sharpened the pleasure. This was unlike anything she’d ever experienced. Her orgasm hit her hard, so hard she couldn’t breathe. Something shifted inside her, her body jerking as the most sublime pleasure ran through her. Yes. So good. No one ever made her feel this way. Royce. King. Men unlike any she’d ever met. They made her want more. Surrendering brought her so much pleasure, more pleasure than even she’d imagined. Waves of the most incredible heat and sensation washed over her, making every inch of her body come alive. She jerked, crying out weakly as it released her from its grip. She slumped and grabbed on to the leather table for support, belatedly realizing that she must have let go of her bottom at some point. Shuddering as Royce withdrew, she buried her face against the leather. She could do this. She could submit to them in the playroom. Whenever she had the urge, she could go to them. She would walk away satisfied while giving them the kind of sex they needed. She didn’t want to think about this time ending in a month, though. Now that she’d found the kind of physical pleasure and closeness she’d dreamed about, she sure as hell didn’t want to take a chance of losing it. She couldn’t imagine never experiencing this kind of pleasure again. Slowly, she became aware of the disapproving silence all around her. Realizing she’d made a mistake, she swallowed heavily and rushed to apologize. “I’m s–sorry, Master.” When the silence continued, she started to cry. Shocked at herself, she swallowed heavily to hold it back as an overwhelming sense of loss nearly consumed her.

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For the first time in her life, she felt connected to a man, two men, and she’d already ruined it. She’d never be able to go back to the way she’d been before. She needed this as much as she needed to breathe. Finally, King lifted her to a standing position, turning her to face both of them. Cupping her cheek, he smiled when she automatically turned her face into his palm. “You’re forgiven this time. You really are an incredibly passionate and responsive woman.” Brenna smiled, thrilled to have another chance. “I’ll do the best I can. I’ll try so hard. You’re going to be so happy with me.” Royce reached out to cup her breast, while King reached a hand between her thighs to run a finger over her clit. “We’re already happy with you.” Brenna’s knees felt rubbery, and she realized for the first time that both men touched her at the same time. It felt so naughty to be touched by two men at once. It also made her feel desired and sexy. King tapped her clit, making her jolt. “Back to your room for now.” As they started for the door, Brenna looked from one to the other, still self-conscious at her nudity. “What do we do now? Do we have a certain time for sex? Do you just want me to let you know when I’m ready?” King sighed, sharing a look with Royce before meeting her eyes again. “You belong to us, Red. We’ll take you when we want you. We’ll fuck you when we want to. You’re ours, Red, something you seem to have a great deal of trouble understanding.” He ran his hand down her back to her bottom, his touch possessive. “You have a lot to learn, and I have a feeling you’re going to fight us. Just remember, you can go at any time, but when you go, don’t expect to come back.” Filled with dread, Brenna swallowed and turned to Royce. “When should I expect you?” Royce’s eyes hardened. “When we come for you. Go take a shower and get some rest.” He opened the door to her room, gripping her shoulder to stop her from entering.

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Reaching down, he tugged a nipple, staring down at it as he rolled it between his thumb and forefinger, his eyes narrowing as she cried out at the intense pleasure. “Don’t masturbate. Your body and orgasms are ours now.” Once inside, Brenna stared at the closed door, jolting at the loud click of the lock. She was a prisoner. A possession. A toy. She had to somehow learn to live with that, at least until she figured out another plan, because for the life of her, she couldn’t imagine walking away from them now.

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Chapter Five

“So you’re the woman who has Royce and King all riled up. Congratulations. It’s about time.” Brenna searched the smiling woman’s features for any sarcasm, relieved when she found none. Smiling back, she shrugged. “I can’t imagine Royce and King all riled up, but I am the one staying at the club with them—at least for now.” “For now? Oh, by the way, I’m Natalie—Nat—Langley. You’re Brenna, right?” Curling her toes inside the slippers she’d been given to wear, Brenna pulled her robe tighter. “Yes. Do you live here in Desire?” Dressed as Brenna, in a terry robe and slippers, Nat studied her nails and frowned. “Yes, for years. Damn, I need a manicure worse than I thought.” Looking up again, she sat back, crossing one leg over the other. “How do you like our little town so far?” She’d spent the majority of her time at the club. “I haven’t seen much of it yet. I was walking the other day, but I have to admit, I didn’t pay much attention.” She’d been so shaken by the note that, even though she’d gone into stores, she hadn’t paid much attention. “I like what I’ve seen so far, and just know that everyone seems to like Royce and King.” Brenna couldn’t help but noticed that the woman seemed distracted, her thoughts apparently somewhere else. When her eyes cleared, they held an unhappiness in them that tugged at Brenna’s heart. Nat looked almost…lonely. Hoping to change the subject, Brenna forced a smile. “I’m nervous. I’ve never been to a place like this before.” To her relief, Nat smiled.

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“If you stay with Royce and King, this place will be like a second home to you.” Grinning, she raised a brow. “Full treatment, I presume?” Brenna shivered. “I think so. They were still talking to the woman out front when another brought me back here. This is going to hurt, isn’t it?” “It’s worth it. So, tell me about what happened with Donner.” Laughing, she patted Brenna’s knee. “If you stick around here, you’ll get used to my bluntness.” Letting out a breath she didn’t realize she’d been holding, Brenna shook her head. “I’m usually blunt, too, but being with Royce and King and learning things about this town have left me a little stunned.” The two women sat alone in a small alcove, out of the way of the bustling activity of the salon, where several women had their hair and nails done. Nat grinned, a mischievous grin that invited friendship. “You’ll get used to us. Ever had your pussy waxed?” Brenna’s face burned. “I’m almost thirty-four and the people in this town can still embarrass me.” Sitting back, she rubbed her damp palms over the robe covering her thighs. “Shaved. Never waxed. I did it to jump-start a lackluster sex life.” Nat sat forward. “Did it work?” “No.” She couldn’t believe she’d told a complete stranger something so intimate, but Nat was easy to talk to. She’d bet anything it would take quite a bit to shock her. Sitting back again, Nat nodded. “A man who makes you wax, or shaves you himself has no desire for a lackluster sex life.” “You sound like you speak from experience.” “Yep, I’m a sub.” Brenna blinked, finding it hard to imagine the woman sitting in front of her submitting to anyone. “You?” “Yep. My husband, Jake, is quite a man.” Her smile fell, and that sadness came back into her eyes. “I’m sorry.” Instinct had her sitting forward, covering Nat’s hand with her own. “I overstepped, something I do too often. I guess I’m more nervous about this whole thing than I thought.” Glancing around to make sure no one could overhear them, she lowered her voice.

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“I’ve never been with men like Royce and King before—you know— Doms. It’s exciting as hell when it’s not scaring me to death.” Nat smiled, taking Brenna’s hand in hers. “As long as it’s exciting and scary, you’re fine. It’s when he gets distracted and hangs up the phone when you walk into the room that it gets really scary.” “Mrs. Langley, we’re ready for you.” Nat got to her feet, gesturing toward the large room. “I’ll meet you in there afterward. I’m sure you have a lot of questions, and you can tell me all about yourself.” Hours later, a very relaxed Brenna made her way to the spa waiting room, the impossibly high heels forcing her to walk slowly. She’d dressed in the sundress she’d found lying on her bed when she came out of the shower, one in a bright floral pattern. Over it, she wore her own denim jacket, and red fuck-me pumps that Royce and King had also left for her. Taking a deep breath, she paused at the doorway as Royce and King came to their feet. Aware of the covetous stares at Royce and King from the woman behind the counter, Brenna shot her a look and stepped toward them, stopping abruptly when Royce held up his hand. With a possessive gleam in his eyes, he twirled a finger in the air, a silent demand that she turn. She hadn’t expected them to come with her, or to wait until she finished. “Have you been waiting all this time?” Royce twirled his finger again. “No. We had them call when you were almost ready.” She didn’t want to admit that it warmed her, but somehow made her feel like a possession. Deciding that she was thinking into it way too much, she did as he wanted and turned. After being treated to a full spa package, she knew she looked her best and, she had to admit, felt better than she had in years. Her hair, now a glossy wave of curls, had been trimmed and styled, while most of the other hair on her body had been ruthlessly waxed off. She loved the decadent feel of the air moving over her now-bare mound with each step, but more than that, she loved knowing that they knew she’d been waxed. She couldn’t wait for them to run their fingers over her smooth mound, knowing how sensitive it would be there now.

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She hadn’t been given a bra or panties to wear, and when she’d asked about them this morning, King had told her that if he wanted her to wear a bra or panties, he would damned well have provided them. Both men nodded their approval as King stepped closer, not bothering to keep his voice down. “You look beautiful. How does that pussy feel, now that it’s waxed?” Brenna’s face heated, and she couldn’t help but glance at the woman behind the counter. “Fine.” “Fine? I’ll bet it feels a hell of a lot better than fine. Let me see.” Brenna froze. “What? Here? Now?” He couldn’t be serious! King frowned. “Of course, here and now. Lift that dress. I want to see if they did a good job.” He raised a brow when she hesitated. “If you’d like to have me put you over my lap and that dress lifted over your head while I spank your ass first, that’s fine with me.” “No!” Hell, he would do it. Drawing a shaky breath, she pressed her thighs closed against the rush of heat there, inwardly cursing the fact that his threat had turned her on. Knowing he’d see and feel that her thighs had become coated with her juices, she turned her back to the woman at the counter, she grabbed the hem at the front of her dress with shaky hands and lifted it. Baring her mound to them, she made sure to keep her ass covered so the woman behind her didn’t see it. Royce smiled. “You don’t have to be shy about showing that ass. It’s a damned fine ass. Of course, if you let another man see it, I’ll have to beat you and kill him.” Brenna shivered as King knelt in front of her, sucking in a breath as his fingers danced lightly over her mound and folds. Thanking her lucky stars that no one else was in the waiting room, she locked her knees against the surge of lust and stared up at Royce through her lashes. “How are you going to keep my ass hidden when you auction me off?” Royce frowned. “We’ll deal with that when the time comes. For now, you’re ours, and we don’t share with others.” King tapped her thigh, sending a jolt of heat to her slit. “Spread ’em, Red.” He looked up when she hesitated. “Are you willing to accept the consequences of making me tell you twice?”

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Swallowing heavily, she spread her thighs, very much aware of the woman behind her. She’d die of embarrassment if King spanked her naked ass in full view of the smiling woman behind the counter. King, the devious rat, ran his fingers up and down her inner thighs. “She’s soaked again. It seems our little sub likes having her pussy waxed.” Straightening, he took her hands in his, allowing her dress to fall back in place. “Very good, Red.” To her surprise, he bent forward and brushed her lips with his. “Very good. Let’s get out of here.” With a steady arm around her waist, he led her outside, holding on to her when she would have fallen. “Sorry. I like wearing heels, but these are higher than what I’m used to.” Royce patted her bottom before sliding a steadying arm around her. “Your legs look a mile long in them.King lifted her hand to his lips. “You know you’re allowed to touch us whenever you want, as long as you’re not in the playroom.” Brenna blinked. “Really?” Royce, who’d moved ahead to hold the door open, burst out in laughter when she pushed King against the wall. She knew she’d only been able to do it because she’d surprised him and because he wouldn’t hurt her. Taking full advantage of her position, she ran her hands all over him, thrilling at the chance to explore his hard body. His chest muscles flexed beneath her touch, his thighs as hard and large as tree trunks under her fingers. She squeezed his tight butt and started to reach for his cock before he stopped her. “Whoa! What do you think you’re doing?” He pulled her back and managed to get both of her wrists manacled in one of his hands. Brenna moaned, her heels making it possible to nuzzle his neck. “You said I could touch you.” Royce chuckled. “You did.” King’s eyes twinkled as he held her away and smiled down at her. “You’re right. I did. But, I didn’t think you would attack me. Maybe you’ve got a little streak of dominance in you.” Pressing against him, she sighed. “Probably. Now you see why I’m such a mess. I’ve intimidated every man I’ve ever dated.” King opened his mouth to speak, but she pushed out of his arms.

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“Please, don’t try to placate me. I like the sex, but it’s hard for me to submit. I realize that I’ll never be that sort of person. Hell, even during sex, I want to control everything. How the hell am I supposed to be submissive when I want to be the one in control? Fuck it. I’m sorry I said anything. Can we just go?” Feeling like a fool once again, she stormed through the door Royce held open, struggling when he grabbed her arm. “Let go of me. I already know I’m not going to last the month.” She looked around, embarrassed to see that they’d started to draw the attention of others. Seeing another man, one as dark as Royce and handsome as sin, she lowered her head. “Can we just go, please?” “We’ll talk about this later.” Royce turned, offering his hand as the other man approached. “Hello, Jake. Is Nat inside?” Brenna lifted her chin, instinctively stepping back at the cold anger and stark power swirling in Jake’s eyes. The other man held her gaze, not blinking, and raised a brow at her continued stare, smiling slightly when she lowered her gaze and snuck glances at him. Royce slipped an arm around her waist, tugging her closer in a possessive move that made her heart beat faster. Jake’s eyes followed the gesture, his brows going up. “You’re kidding. Yours?” King took her hand. “For now. So how’s Nat?” Jake nodded abruptly. “Fine. She’s fine. She wanted a day at the spa.” The tension in his tone had Brenna glancing up at him again. The frustration in his eyes tore at her, and she spoke without thinking. “Is Nat your wife?” His eyes, laser sharp, shifted to hers. “Yes. Why? Do you know my wife?” Brenna nodded hesitantly, thinking about the sad eyes on the women she’d met in the spa. “I met her inside.” “Did you?” His cold tone made her shiver. “Yes.” She looked from Royce to King and then back to Jake, knowing that none of this was any of her business. The sadness on the Nat’s face and the frustration on Jake’s loosened her tongue. “She loves you so much.”

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Jake blinked, his eyes clearing. “I know. Thank you. If you’ll excuse me, my wife’s waiting, and tonight’s our anniversary.”

* * * *

King lifted her into the front seat of the large SUV with an ease that made her feel small and fragile. “Scoot over.” Brenna hadn’t even settled in her seat before Royce turned to her. “Now, show me.” Sitting on the seat between them, she sucked in a breath at the sharp stab of lust at his steely command. Her stomach quivered as she reached for the hem of her dress and lifted it slowly, teasing all of them. Royce lifted a brow at her daring, but King merely whipped the hem of the dress to her waist, his hot hand pressing flat against her belly and holding it there, revealing her mound. Reaching out, Royce traced a fingertip over her bare mound, his eyes hot as they followed the movement. “Very smooth. Now, darling, you’re silky everywhere.” She’d expected to be more sensitive there, but even King and Royce’s lightest touch proved to be so much more. The need and fascination on their faces made her feel like the most desirable woman in the world, a feeling that made her head spin. She had to keep reminding herself that they’d perfected that look after years spent charming a woman into submitting. Their hooded gazes, sharp and alert, glittered with heat as they moved over her, as though she was the most important and irresistible thing in the world to them. They made her feel feminine and beautiful in ways she hasn’t felt in years. How could any woman resist feeling this way? Royce tapped her thigh. “Spread them, darling.” Sucking in a breath, Brenna obeyed him without hesitation, excitement racing through her veins at the need on both of their faces. She gripped a shoulder on each side for support, tilting her hips higher as Royce’s fingers went through her folds. A cry escaped when he touched a

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finger to her clit, her breath coming out in gasps as he toyed with the swollen nub. He lifted his head to look at King. “She’s so sensitive everywhere. As soon as we touch her she goes up in flames. We’re going to have to ease her into the whip, especially on her clit.” The air blowing over her folds and the feel of his fingers exploring such a sensitive place made it difficult to concentrate. Biting back another cry, she threw her head back. “You’re not serious? How the hell am I going to get the real one?” Damn it. She hadn’t meant to say that. Both men stilled and looked at each other. Royce stopped playing with her clit to run a hand over her thigh. “Real one? Real what?” “Nothing. I don’t know what I was saying. You get me so worked up that—oh!” She jumped when Royce ripped the front of her dress open, instinctively gripping his forearms when his fingers closed over her nipples, pinching them hard before releasing them. Staring into her eyes, he reached into his shirt pocket and drew out a nipple clamp, dangling it in front of her eyes. “I asked you a question.” She tried not to look at the clamp, but found her gaze drawn to it. She’d seen them in magazines, but even the one she’d used on herself hadn’t looked so frightening. She figured it had more to do with the large hand holding it than the clamp itself. Her nipples tightened almost painfully, the threat of having one of them clamped sending another jolt of heat to her clit. Tearing her gaze from the clamp, she touched the choker at her neck, staring into his eyes. “N–Nat said that this choker was a club choker. ShShe said that, uh, if I belonged to you, my choker would match your rings.” With a shaking hand, she touched a finger to the brilliant emerald he wore, one that almost exactly matched his eyes. Reaching behind her, she touched the hand that King used to caress her hip, touching the ring there. “You both wear the same stone. When I mentioned it to Nat, she told me

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why. I saw that Jake wore a ring matching Nat’s choker. She belongs to him.Her breath caught when Royce let the end of the clamp dance over her nipple. King lifted a brow and sat back in his seat. “And you think you want to belong to us when your month is over? You don’t even know what that entails. You do know the kind of club we own, don’t you? I don’t want to hear a bunch of nagging or deal with bouts of jealousy because we touched another woman. Right now, you’re taken in by the sex. There’s a hell of a lot more to it than that.” Brenna drew in a breath at the cold stab of hurt to her stomach. “You have sex with other women all the time, don’t you? I’m just an easy lay to you, aren’t I?” Royce, sitting in the driver’s seat, set her none too gently back in the center, covering her breasts before he started the engine. “Of course not. We’re selective in who we fuck, Brenna. We help Doms. We don’t train subs, except for our own enjoyment.” King yanked her from her seat, pulling her across his lap to look down at her. “You’re innocent of this lifestyle. Do you really think a woman like you is going to be able to take on two Doms? One is difficult enough, as I’m sure Nat told you. It won’t be easy and you wouldn’t always like how possessive and overbearing Royce and I can be.” Turning into him, she cuddled close. “She did. She also told me that it’s worth it.Reaching up, she cupped his strong jaw, deciding to go for honesty. “I didn’t know men like you existed. Well, I did, but I didn’t realize everything involved. You make me feel like a woman in ways I never have before, and the sex is fantastic. I’ve never felt so fulfilled. If you teach me how to please you…” King’s hand slid inside her torn dress. He covered her breast and squeezed, his eyes unreadable. “There’s a lot more involved, Red. Some Doms share their women with other men. If you belonged to us, we wouldn’t. We’d be very possessive of you, so much so that it would probably drive you nuts.” Royce slid a hand up her leg to her slit. Spreading her wider, he plunged a finger into her pussy. “We would both demand complete obedience from

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you. Any show of temper or defiance would earn you a punishment. We admire temper in a woman, but we won’t have it used against us. We would see that as a play for attention and treat it accordingly. You would get attention, but probably not the kind you’d want.” Closing her legs on his hand, she grabbed the hand King used on her breast, urging him on. “Tell me. You said a whip. I have to admit, that scares me. Would it hurt bad? Would you use it if you got really mad at me?” Royce pressed his finger against a spot inside her that had her writhing on King’s lap. “No Dom worth his salt would ever punish in anger. A whip would hurt, especially on your clit.” Brenna stilled, finding it hard to imagine such a thing. “You would really whip my clit?” She knew she would never be able to stand the pain and tried to push away. King growled. “Stay where you are. Open those fucking thighs right now. Wide.” Brenna hesitated, knowing she’d bitten off more than she could chew, but she wouldn’t dare defy him and take the chance of being sent away. Not now. Not when there was so much more to discover. King pinched her nipple, making her whimper. “Now, Red. Wide open. One foot on the back of the seat and the other on the steering wheel.” Brenna bit her lip and obeyed him, certain that Royce, with his finger in her pussy, could feel it clench and release more of her juices. He would know how much this excited her. Royce smiled. “She liked that. She’s almost ready to come.” He slid deep and almost completely withdrew, his whole demeanor one of a possessive man who wanted what he considered his. “Your clit, your breasts, your ass, would all be whipped. It would hurt, but for the rest of that day, the slightest touch would reawaken every nerve ending there and heighten your arousal and your senses. You’re ours for now, Brenna. Leave it at that. You’re not ready to commit to this lifestyle. You’ve barely gotten your toes wet, so you sure as hell don’t know what you want yet.King shoved aside the top of her dress, baring her breasts completely to their gazes again. “There’s also a bond that forms between a Dom and his

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sub. We don’t have that yet. Maybe we never will. Who knows? For now, you’ll just have to accept what we give you.” Brenna wanted to cry when they removed their hands and set her back in her seat. Covering herself, she stared straight ahead for several minutes before attempting to break the tense silence. “There might be a job for me here in town. I wanted to go check it out.” Both men whipped around to her in surprise. King’s eyes narrowed. “Where?” “A place called Indulgences. Nat said that her sister is one of the owners and that they’re so busy with orders, they need someone to take care of them. Nat said she works there sometimes, and that Kelly, one of the other owners, is home now. She’s pregnant and has to stay in bed.” King nodded. “Kelly is Blade’s wife. Our partner.” “Oh. That Kelly. I guess it’s a small world.” Royce nodded. “Especially in Desire. You can go see about the job as soon as we get home and you change.” King frowned. If you get a job, though, we’ll want to know the hours you’re working. We’ll work it out so that we can have our time together. You’re also going to have to be watched closely, at least until we figure out who sent that note.Royce touched her thigh, tugging her dress higher. “You’ll have time of your own, but we’ll demand time for us.” “It sounds perfect.” Brenna fought back a smile at how well things had begun to fall in place. She loved feeling wanted, loved the sex and the sense of fulfillment, but they’d been right in the fact that she’d only just begun and had so much more to learn. She was scared, though, of them giving up on her and feared if that happened, she’d never have this delicious feeling again. Even more frightening was the realization that they didn’t seem to feel the connection with her that they needed. Grateful that she had a month to learn all she could learn about this new way of life, Brenna leaned against Royce. “Thank you for the spa trip. I’ve been buffed, waxed, and shined. What are we doing now? I’d like to go meet Jesse Erickson. Nat called her and she’s expecting me.” King nodded. “We’ll take you by there now.”

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Brenna looked down at her torn dress and grimaced. “I need to change first, remember? Besides, I want to go alone. I’m sure she wouldn’t like—” “Jesse wouldn’t blink if we went with you.” Royce smiled and patted her knee. “She’s lived here long enough to understand the way things work here. She probably knows about Donner and the note already. Word travels fast in Desire.” Brenna nodded. “She knows. Nat told her, but I still want to go alone. Look, just because I’m your submissive for now, that doesn’t mean—” King ruthlessly cut her off. “Yes, it does.” Sliding his hand into her hair, he tilted her face to his. “That’s exactly what it means, and what I’ve been trying to tell you. Belonging to us means belonging to us, something it’s becoming very apparent you’re not prepared for.” He released her just as abruptly and cursed. Shooting him a look, Royce took her hand in his. “We’re not unreasonable, though. You can try to convince us.” Eager to do so, and spurred by the playfulness in his eyes, Brenna cuddled up to him. Looking up at him through her lashes, she toyed with the top button of his white shirt, slipping it free. Caressing his warm skin with her fingertips gave her more of a thrill than she would have imagined. “Please, Royce. I’d be so grateful. I’ll be careful. I promise. It’s broad daylight. The streets are full of people. Besides, how are we ever going to find out who’s doing this if I spent all my time locked in the club with you two watching me like a hawk?” She couldn’t believe that Royce’s body stiffened beneath her touch, something that made her feel even more desirable. “I’d really like to see a little more of the town, and it’s only a few blocks.” Royce stopped at a stop sign, his hooded gaze searching hers. “Very good convincing. It’s fine with me, as long as it’s okay with King.” She turned to find King watching her expectantly. “What can I say to convince you?” King grinned. “I want a kiss.” Sucking in a breath, Brenna turned and leaned toward him, lifting her face for his kiss. “Nope. You kiss me.”

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Brenna had to get to her knees to reach him, holding on to his shoulder as she bent toward him. She realized she’d forgotten to hold her dress closed when his hands covered her breasts, making her gasp just as her mouth touched his. He took over almost immediately, sliding his tongue over hers and deepening the kiss as he gently massaged her breasts. By the time he broke off the kiss, her head spun and her stomach had tightened with a fresh surge of arousal. “Come here.” King pulled her closer to him, waving in response to a greeting called out as they went through town. “We’re going back to the club. After you get back from Indulgences, you’re going to go to your room, strip, and go straight to the playroom.” Royce nodded and turned to her, his eyes gleaming. “Today, we’re going to enjoy you together.”

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Chapter Six

Brenna nearly danced on her way back to the club, delighted that she’d not only managed to find a job in Desire, but that she’d also met potential new friends. With her body tingling with anticipation, she secured her hold on the bag of samples that Jesse Erickson had given her, smiling at the people she passed as she walked down the sidewalk. Walking had given her a chance to check out some of the places in town, some she wanted a chance to return to, but she didn’t dare stop now, knowing Royce and King would be waiting for her. No one had approached her, and there hadn’t been any more notes, leaving her wondering if the note had been a mistake, or possibly intended for someone else. Feeling much better, she had a spring to her step as she hurried back, anxious to be with Royce and King again. She’d missed them, and couldn’t believe how much. The need to belong to them deepened every day, especially now that she’d begun to understand that they genuinely cared about her happiness. They’d given her the clothes they’d had hidden away, letting her choose an outfit to wear. Of course, they’d stayed and watched her get ready, Royce reclining on the chaise in her room, while King stood by the window. She’d chosen a plain black pair of pants and a blue sweater, which both men had approved of, but she could still remember the looks of disapproval on their faces when they saw her in her plain cotton panties and bra. “Excuse me?” Brenna paused at the sound of a male voice coming from behind her, and turned, still smiling, to face him. Her heart raced, but she kept her smile in place as she glanced around to make sure there were still people around.

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Taller than both Royce and King, the man standing on the sidewalk had the same air about him that Royce, King, and even Jake had. Struck by the graceful power and authority, she stiffened as another thought occurred to her.

Would be one of the men bidding at the next auction? Taking a step back, she touched the choker around her neck, nervous now. “Are you talking to me?” He smiled, gesturing toward her neck. “I recognized the choker. You don’t have to be nervous. I’m not your stalker. Are you Brenna?” “Yes.” She took a step back. “How did you know that?” He smiled, holding out his hands as if to prove he meant her no harm. Royce and King have everyone on alert. Don’t be afraid. My name’s Logan James. I own the leather store here, and the special order King and Royce wanted is ready. I wondered if you’d take it to them for me.” Brenna nodded, blowing out a breath in relief. “Of course.” Grinning, he turned and headed back inside. “Thanks. I’ll be right back.” Curious, she moved closer to the window to see the kinds of items he’d put on display. Her mouth dropped open when she saw, in addition to clothing, whips of all sizes and types and several things that she couldn’t even identify. She even saw leather dildos, their tasteful arrangement in one of the corners making them appear no less threatening. Wondering what King and Royce had ordered, after all, they appeared to have a vast assortment of whatever they might need already in their playroom, she looked again at the clothing, but her eyes kept going to the dildos in the corner. When the door to the shop opened again, she stepped back, feigning interest in one of the skirts near the front. Logan walked out with a package in his hand, wrapped with brown paper and tied with a string. “Thank you. It shouldn’t surprise me that they guessed your right size. It was nice meeting you, Brenna. Hopefully, we’ll be seeing a lot more of you around here. Ever since Jesse got here, the men of Desire have been finding the perfect women for them left and right. She’s been our good luck charm.”

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He smiled, the flash of white only intensifying his masculine good looks, but doing nothing to diminish the aura of power and strength surrounding him. She decided he appeared to be a combination of Royce and King, with some of Royce’s grace and good looks, tempered with King’s strong masculinity. Smiling, she accepted the package. “Have you found yours yet?” He sighed, his smile falling slightly. “No. It takes a hell of a woman to put up with the rules in this town. If you ask the women, it’s worth it, but not a lot of women appreciate how the men here take care of them. They call us bossy—and that’s one of the better names they call us.” He leaned closer, speaking in a stage whisper. “Even some of the women who live here now occasionally claim we’re a little arrogant.” Brenna had already heard a great deal of it from Nat, and experienced some of it for herself. Feigning shock, she smiled. “No kidding?” Laughing at his narrowed gaze, she lifted the package he’d given her to her chest, curious about its contents. “You mentioned Jesse. Did you mean Jesse Erickson?” Inclining his head, Logan smiled. “I did. I see you have a bag from her store. Have you met her?” “Yes. As a matter of fact, she just hired me. I start the day after tomorrow. She gave me some samples to try.” “Congratulations. You’d better get back to the club before Royce and King start to worry. Tell them I’ll drop by later.” Brenna nodded and turned away, turning back impulsively. “May I ask you a question?” Logan cocked a brow. “Yes. What is it?” “Do you…I mean…are you…do you…are you looking for a woman? You soundedI mean, the reason I asked is because you looked so—” His eyes iced over. “Are you offering yourself?” Nervous now, she rushed to explain. “No! Oh, God, I always make a mess of things.” She blew out a breath, and took another before starting again. “I have a friend, one who’s been hurt a lot. When I called her earlier and mentioned that I was here and that I’d found Royce and King…well, she sounded so depressed. I was hoping that once I settled here…I mean if I settle here, she might come for a visit. She’s very nice, but she has this habit of intimidating men, well, kind of like I

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dodiduntil I got here. Nothing seems to intimidate the men here. I thought maybe…” “That I would like to meet her?” He smiled, the ice replaced with amusement. “Perhaps. I don’t care for blind dates, Brenna. I prefer the hunt. If she’s looking for a man—” “That’s just it. She’s sworn off men completely. She’s beautiful and smart and, you wouldn’t believe this, but she designs leather clothing for women. I just thought…” “Interesting. We’ll have to talk about it later.” He gestured over her shoulder. “Royce is coming for you and he doesn’t look too happy.”

* * * *

Brenna walked across the parking lot with Royce. “They’d be perfect together. I mean, I don’t know him very well, but he seemed like the kind of man who isn’t easily intimidated. At least she could meet him. I can’t believe I got the job. Jesse seems so nice. She gave me a bunch of samples to try, but I like the blue raspberry.” Royce lifted a brow. “That’s not for you to decide.” “Damn it, Royce. I like the raspberry.” She reached for the bag again, but he pulled it out of her reach. “Maybe we’ll let you have it. Maybe we won’t. Do you know how worried I was about you?” “I’m sorry. There was no reason to worry. I talked to Jesse a little while and then when I walked past the leather store, Logan came out to give me that package.” Gesturing toward the package he held, she touched his arm, thrilled that they’d considered her special enough to buy something for her. “He said that you guessed my right size. What is it?” Royce grinned, taking her hand and leading her up the steps. “Something for you to wear when you’re being punished. We figured that as undisciplined as you are, we’re going to have to work really hard to train you. This is guaranteed to turn you into a quivering little sub who’ll do anything not to wear it again. You’ll be begging for relief and just the thought of having to wear it again will keep you in check.”

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Brenna laughed, as she figured he’d expected her to, knowing nothing could accomplish all that. “Sure. What’s in that little package is going to do all that. Get real. I’m hungry. Where’s King? I have to tell him that I got the job.”

* * * *

Royce watched her run up the steps, not even bothering with the elevator. He followed at a much more leisurely pace, deep in thought as he nodded in Sebastian’s direction. He hadn’t wanted to tell her that King already knew she’d been hired. He and King kept close watch on her and had already arranged for Clay, one of Jesse’s husbands, to call when Brenna left the shop. He smiled when he heard her squeal, figuring she must have found King. Slowing his steps, he listened to her babbling about all that had happened since she left, ending with a plea that she be allowed to keep the blue raspberry. Hell, he didn’t care which one she wore, but he wanted to see if she would be capable of deferring to them. He wanted to know how she would react to not getting her way, if she’d be mad and throw a tantrum, or if she’d use her feminine wiles—wiles she seemed to have forgottento change his mind. He could handle the first, but looked very much forward to the second. He wanted to claim her, to make her theirs in every way possible, to chain her to them so she wouldn’t stand a chance of escaping. But it was all about choice. Fearing that what they wanted from a woman would be too much for her, they moved slower with her than they had with any other woman. Hell, they hadn’t even taken her yet! The slow teasing had started to tell on both of them, from their short tempers to their insomnia. How the hell could he sleep with his cock so fucking hard it hurt? Although she was headstrong and opinionated in some areas, she appeared to lack a great deal of confidence in her own sexuality and femininity.

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She’d taken some blows in those areas, and it showed. He and King had long given up on ever finding one woman they could share their lives with, and if he was honest with himself, he would admit that he’d never imagined himself with a woman as naïve or as much of a challenge as Brenna. He pictured himself with someone more experienced in this lifestyle, a woman who knew what would be expected of her and would act accordingly. He’d wanted a woman who would satisfy the need to dominate, one that would respond to his every touch and who would be eager to please. Brenna was all that and more. She submitted eagerly once she was aroused, but the rest of the time, she wanted to be independent. She also displayed a hesitancy as she fought her own instincts, one they would need to overcome. He could see the struggle in her eyes, and knew that she gave in when it suited her, just to satisfy her curiosity. She didn’t want their time to end together until she got the answers she was looking for, something he and King couldn’t let her get away with. He knew that even a look from him had the power to arouse her. He doubted that she knew he could see it, even her inner struggle not to let it show apparent to him. God, she excited him. She had the softness, the femininity that his friends had fallen for in the women they married, a softness he’d believed wouldn’t be right for him. Somehow, though, it enhanced her surrender, the power of her passion such a contrast to the softness she struggled to hide. Feminine to the core and afraid to show it. Remembering her anger the day she’d met them never failed to excite him. He knew then that she would be something special, but he hadn’t planned to get so lost in her. It was hard for him to face the truth. He was scaredgut-wrenching scaredthat once he had her, he would never be able to give her up. If Brenna decided she couldn’t handle this lifestyle, one he knew he could never live without, he would be devastated.

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When she’d spoken about belonging to him and King, he’d had the most incredible urge to throw her over his shoulder and run back to the club with her.

He couldn’t get attached to her, though, not the way he wanted to. Keeping some distance between them had to be one of the hardest things he’d ever done, but he needed to protect himself. So, he and King had used the excuse of the auction as a way to get close to her without committing themselves, an automatic defense mechanism to keep from getting hurt. He’d only known her for a few days and already he could feel his defenses crumbling down all around him. Part of him wanted to be easy on her, hoping that she could get through the month, while another part of him wanted to do his worst to her, in the hopes of scaring her away before he became too attached to her. He could see the confusion in her eyes as he and King went from one extreme to the other, but could do nothing about it. He’d convinced himself that if she ended up being a permanent part of their lives, she would have to deal with the many different levels of submission. If she couldn’t handle it, they would be better off knowing now. Because, God help him, he couldn’t change who he was. It appeared, though, that neither could she, and she had just begun the road to discovery of the kind of life she needed. He would help her on her journey, teach her what she needed to know and learn her boundaries. He thought he knew everything about himself and his own needs, but since meeting Brenna, he learned even more. Before the month ended, he fearedvery muchthat he would lose his heart.

* * * *

Brenna straddled King, who sat in a big leather chair at his desk, pressing her mound against the large bulge behind his zipper. “I’m so excited. Jesse seemed really nice.” King nodded. “Jesse is very nice. Why are you wearing clothes?” Brenna blinked. “Because I was out.”

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King’s hands clenched on her thighs. “I thought you were told to come back, go to your room, strip, and go to the playroom.” Brenna pouted, alarmed when his eyes narrowed. “I wanted to tell you I got the job. I was excited. I thought you would be happy for me.” “I am happy for you. Kiss me.” “What?” Brenna trembled. Other than King brushing his lips over hers in the spa, and the kiss he’d wanted after her spa visit, neither one of them had kissed her. “You want to kiss me?” His eyes narrowed. “Very much.” Flattening herself against his chest, Brenna bent forward and touched her lips to his, pushing her tongue against his to gain entrance. She wrapped her arms around his neck and leaned into him, brushing her tongue over his, but once again found her control of the kiss quickly stripped away. King wrapped his arms around her, sweeping her mouth with his tongue and exploring the recesses of her mouth, with a passion and dominance that took her breath away. She loved it. When he lifted his head, she slumped against him, her head spinning. “Wow. You’re a good kisser.” King laughed, slapping her ass. “So are you. Get off my lap and strip. You’ve been dressed all day.” Rubbing her ass and turned on by both the heat and dominance of it, Brenna crawled off of his lap, need already flowing through her veins. “Most people spend the day dressed, you know.” King grinned. “You aren’t most people. You belong to me and I want you to be naked when you’re around me. You’ll be naked more often than not, Red, something you’re going to have to get used to.” Royce entered the room, tossing both bags onto King’s desk. “She’ll be working part time. She said she already talked to her friend to send for the rest of her things. We’ll go through them and pick out what she can wear.” Brenna finished tugging off a sneaker, his words sending a chill through

her.

“You can pick what I wear?” Royce sighed. “You really have no idea what’s expected of you, do you? Of course we’ll pick out your clothing, just like we’ll pick out the

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scent you’re going to wear. You belong to us, Brenna. Every inch of you is ours to do with as we want.” He glanced at King. “We have a lot of work to do.” King nodded. “That we do.” Brenna finished taking off her other shoe and paused with her hands on the fastening of her pants. “Why haven’t either one of you taken me? Don’t you want me?” King raised a brow and came to his feet. “If we didn’t want you, Red, you wouldn’t be here. Are you trying to tell me you want my cock?” She wanted more than that. She wanted all of him. She wanted the chance to be closer. She wanted to break through that distance she sensed between them. Nodding, she took a step toward him, shooting a glance at Royce. “I want to be yours. In every way.” Royce smiled faintly. “That remains to be seen. I’ll be waiting in the playroom.” Standing with his arms crossed over his chest, King stood patiently, his eyes unreadable. Brenna didn’t waste any time, throwing her clothes off with abandon and tossing them aside. Without a word, King gestured for her to precede him. Walking down the hall, she carefully kept her arms at her sides, once again remarkably aware of her nudity. She found it much different than being naked with a man in a bed. She was naked while they still wore clothing, which already made her feel vulnerable, but on top of that, she had to parade around in front of them. When she got to the door at the end of the hall, she found Royce waiting just inside, holding out a mask. “Come here, Brenna.” “You’re going to blindfold me?” King slapped her ass from behind. “I think we should gag her, too. You want to use your safe word, Red, do it now.” “Kiss my ass!” Brenna froze, slapping a hand over her mouth, horrified at what she’d done. “I’m sorry, King. Shit. I mean, Master. Does it count if we haven’t started yet? Damn it, I forgot.

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More self-conscious than ever, she covered herself, finding it difficult to be so exposed when sex wasn’t involved. Royce smiled faintly. “Yes, it does. I guess we’re going to have to do something about your memory.” He looked pointedly at her body, and his eyes lingered on her arms she’d instinctively used to cover herself until she dropped them to her sides. She’d made the mistake of relaxing around them after being out with them today, and after their teasing when she’d come home from town. It had been a mistake to take that attitude into the playroom, one she would bet they would make her pay for. “I’m sorry. It’s hard to be naked when sex isn’t involved. I feel self- conscious.” King came into the room behind her and closed the door. “Too bad. When we want you naked, you’re going to be naked.” Royce moved in behind her and put the blindfold over her eyes, plunging her into complete darkness.

* * * *

Once Royce had her blindfolded, he met King’s gaze and nodded, relaxing just a little. Christ, she was adorable. They’d decided to blindfold her tonight in order to build some trust, but also to heighten her senses. With Brenna, that could be an experience to remember. He didn’t like to admit, even to himself, that they wanted her to wear a blindfold so they could enjoy her tonight, to feast on her, without letting her see their faces. For tonight, he didn’t want to have to hide his feelings for her, to hide his joy at her responses and his constant surprise at her reaction to what they did to her. He’d dominated many women in his life and never had such trouble keeping his thoughts and feelings to himself. Most of the women he’d been with had been sophisticated and practiced in submission, but none had ever done so with the abandon that Brenna didor the fight in getting there.

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She shook him, something he hadn’t thought possible. When she’d stormed out the other night, he’d been so surprised, more with himself than with her, that it had been several minutes before he ran after her. Stunned at himself, he’d stared after her, trying to recover from the kick to the gut he hadn’t been expecting. Looking at her now as she waited expectantly, her bottom lip trembling, he knew he’d never wanted a woman more. His hands itched to take her full, high breasts into them, to stroke her pink beaded nipples until she cried out her pleasure. He could almost put his hands around her slim waist, something he imagined doing as he lifted and lowered her onto his cock. Her now-bared pussy begged for his attention, and that rounded ass of hers looked ripe for an erotic spanking. He started stripping off his clothing, grateful to release his cock from its confinement, watching King as he did the same. “Well, Brenna, since the club is closed for the night, I guess we’ve got several hours to work on improving your memory.” He smiled at her shiver, looking forward to this more than he’d looked forward to anything in a long time.

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Chapter Seven

Plunged into darkness, Brenna sucked in a breath, shaking with nerves. Even after only a minute or two, her other senses seemed much sharper. Hearing the rustle of clothes, her pulse leapt, and she desperately wished she could see them. She’d love to have the chance to explore their bodies, to have the freedom to run her hands all over them. She couldn’t see them, however, but she was intensely aware that they could see her. She felt even more exposed now than ever, something she hadn’t thought possible. She stood naked in Royce and King’s playroom. With both Royce and King. Blindfolded. Every fantasy she’d ever had seemed to pale into insignificance. Feeling their gazes moving over her, she burned everywhere. Her head spun, and overcome with the need to steady herself, she reached out a hand, breathing a sigh of relief when Royce took it in his. “You’re all right. I’ve got you. We won’t let you fall.” King came up behind her, running his hands from her hips to her breasts, his naked body hot against hers. The feel of his cock pressing against her lower back made her jump, her pussy clenching with anticipation. “Before we gag her, I’m going to make use of that smart mouth of hers. I believe she told me to kiss her ass.” Royce’s low chuckle filled her with apprehension. “Yes, she definitely did.” Trembling helplessly, Brenna moaned when King turned her and reached up to cup her breasts, crying out when he pinched her nipples and released them. The pain quickly turned to pleasure, sending arrows of sizzling heat to her slit.

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Her body came alive with sensation, every inch of her skin sensitized and aching for attention. Even her hair moving over her back aroused her. She had Royce and King to herself, two of the most dominant men she’d ever met, men who could fulfill every fantasy she’d ever had, and some she hadn’t even thought of yet. She wanted to be taken. Used. Enjoyed. But she’d learned enough about herself since being with them to learn that she wanted something more. She wanted them to want her, need her with the same desperation that she needed them. She wanted this to be a night none of them ever forgot. Royce came up behind her, making her jolt at the heat when his naked body, hard and hot, pressed against hers. He gripped both of her wrists in one of his hands, lifting them over her head and with a speed that amazed her, hooked something to each one, and locked them together. Having her hands pulled over her head left her defenseless to protect her breasts and nipples, giving Royce and King the freedom to do whatever they wanted to them. Shaking at the sound of a chain being lowered, she bit her lip to keep from crying out, determined to be as quiet as she could be. She didn’t want to appear as naïve as she had before, and fought not to show how nervous she got each time they restrained her. Fantasy didn’t even begin to prepare her for reality. The feel of her right nipple being pinched again shocked her and had her crying out, the pain almost more than she could bear. She got to her toes in an instinctive effort to escape it, but it didn’t help. Royce caressed the underside of her breast, his breath warm against her cheek. “Easy. Breathe through it. You can do this. It’s not nearly as tight as it could be. For some reason, King’s taken pity on you.” Obeying him, she took several deep breaths, shocked that the pain began to lessen, and the pleasure began. Sharp, unrelenting waves of it. Every movement caused the weight of the clamp on her nipple to move, heightening the sensation. Instead of remaining still, she struggled against her bonds, each movement sending a flash of heat to her slit. Royce brushed his lips against her forehead. “Very good, darling. Now you see how pain can add to the pleasure.” Stroking the underside of her

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breast, he ran his lips to her cheek. “You need this, don’t you, Brenna? You need this as much as we do. Do you know how beautiful you look, taking whatever we give you? It makes you feel alive, doesn’t it? You’re thinking about nothing except us. You feel us everywhere, don’t you?” King chuckled and tugged at the clamp, making her cry out again, the pain and pleasure mingling into an erotic surge of delight unlike anything she’d ever experienced. “She does. Look at the way she trembles. You’re right, though. I’m going easy on her because she’s new to this, but she needs to be taken in hand. She wants to top from the bottom. She’s a control freak. She’s getting her nipples clamped and then she’s going to suck cock before she’s gagged. Once I work on her ass, she’s going to think twice before talking like that to me again.” Sucking in a breath as King hooked a clamp to her other nipple, Brenna stood on her toes, breathing deeply until the pain lessened, and the pleasure once again took over. “W–What are you going to do to my ass?” A tense stillness filled the air, one filled with disapproval. Royce sighed. “Allow me. I’ve been anxious to take a whip to her ever since she ran out of here that first night. I don’t think she quite grasps the fact that, as long as we’re in the playroom, she’s not permitted to question us, or to speak without being asked a question.Brenna had never been as scared in her life—or as turned on. “No!” Royce’s voice came from directly in front of her, the heat of his body burning the front of hers. “That doesn’t work, Brenna. Use your safe word and you’re free to go.” “No.” She couldn’t walk away. She wanted everything they had to give, and would never forgive herself if she put a stop to this now. The strike of what felt like a hundred leather strips hitting her breast startled her so badly she would have fallen if not for the chain attached to the leather bands at her wrists. Alarmed, she struggled to lock her knees again, surprised to find it didn’t hurt as badly as she’d feared. She’d expected to be spanked, or for the whip to hit her ass. She hadn’t expected her breasts to be whipped.

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The heat was incredible, especially where the whip hit the clamp. So hot. So exciting. Her breasts felt swollen and heavy, more sensitive now. The increased sense of vulnerability and realization that they could do whatever they wanted to her, sent her senses and arousal soaring. Her pussy clenched hard, releasing her juices, her clit swelling. She hardly had the chance to catch her breath before the whip came down on her other breast. The leather strips hit her skin like hot caresses, not biting into it as she’d expected, but just painful enough to keep her on guard and ignite the hunger, building it into something she didn’t recognize. The whip came down again and again in an unpredictable pattern so she never knew which breast would be next. When it hit the sensitive underside of her breast, she came to her toes, and found herself arching her back, thrusting her breasts out in a silent plea for more. She couldn’t believe it. She loved it. She actually loved knowing that they could do whatever they wanted to do to her. Knowing they did it, not to hurt her, but to give them all pleasure, heightened her senses, the fear just strong enough to add to her excitement. Anticipating another strike to her breasts, Brenna cried out when the whip began to strike her all over, not hard, but with enough power to warm and awaken every nerve ending on her body. Her arms, her legs, her belly, all received attention, the whip leaving her skin hot everywhere it touched. The strike of the whip on her mound startled her, but before she could react, the whip landed on her bottom. Several strikes in rapid succession covered every inch of her ass, making her cheeks hot and igniting the awareness in her puckered opening. “Spread those legs, Brenna. Wide.” The ice in Royce’s voice held an underlying edge of tension that excited her even more. Nervous now, but no less excited, she spread her legs wide, surprised when King’s chest brushed against her nipples. A second later, she heard the sound of the chain and her hands were lowered. “On your knees, Red. Spread those thighs as wide apart as you can.”

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With her wrists held in King’s strong grip, Brenna lowered herself to her knees, spreading her thighs until the muscles in them quivered at the strain. “Suck.” She opened her mouth wide as a cock touched her lips, taking the large head of it inside. Tasting King for the first time, she moaned, reveling in the chance to please him this way. She wanted to thrill him, to give him so much pleasure that he thought of nothing else but her. The need to gain some sort of control over him through pleasure excited her, and a battle of wills ensued. She sucked him hard, using her tongue on him, her own arousal making it difficult to concentrate. Starving for him, she used her mouth on him with abandon, thrilling when his body stiffened against hers. The hand he tightened in her hair, a sharp reminder of who was in charge, thrilled her on so many levels, reinforcing his need for control. Holding her hands against his chest, King groaned, his hand fisting in her hair. “You’re going to have to concentrate now, Red. Royce isn’t done. That pussy, clit, and that tight, little puckered opening haven’t tasted the whip yet.” In a panic, Brenna tried to close her legs and pull away from King, but he’d obviously anticipated her reaction and tightened his hold, another sign of just how good he was at thisand how well he already knew her. King held firm, not allowing her the leverage she needed to close her legs, and pulled her head closer, forcing more of his cock into her mouth. “Concentrate. Breathe through your nose. I’m going to give you more. Slowly. When Royce whips you, I’d better not feel your teeth. Pay attention to sucking my cock.” The low, gravelly tone thrilled her, telling her how much he enjoyed this. Wanting to give him more pleasure than he’d ever gotten, she sucked