Aryas knew her.
He knew what she liked.
He knew how she played.
He knew exactly what would make her squirm in her seat.
And he knew precisely how long it had been since she’d had her kink.
“You’re throwing down the gauntlet,” she accused quietly.
“You feel like picking up the glove?” he shot back, shaking the piece of paper at her.
She stared into Aryas’s eyes.
Anything she wanted to do to get him off.
When he was done with her, he’d vanish from her life.
Her gaze dropped to the paper.
“Be you, and we’ll make it interesting, lay five grand on that fucker, he’ll give you one go and then he’ll move on,” Aryas pushed, but it was a dare.
She looked back at him.
Yes, he knew her.
“No reflection on you and your skills, which are sublime, my beautiful baby.” He grinned wicked grin. “Just that this guy is unbreakable. There’s no edge for him any Domme can get anywhere near to push him off and that’s what he’s looking for. Being taken to the farthest edge and shoved right the fuck over.”
Taken to the farthest edge.
Evangeline was not into that. She wasn’t into extreme. Not like many who were into that in the life.
No, the edges she coasted were exactly what Aryas wasn’t quite saying, but she read this guy couldn’t handle.
Unless he had the right Mistress to lead the way.
Damn it all, she was getting wet.
“Five grand?” she snapped.
Aryas pressed his lips together and she was too peeved to get more peeved that he did it to suppress his amusement.
He unpressed them to confirm, “Five grand. But Leenie, babe, just to get it straight, he walks away from you at first meet, we’re even. It’s only if you get a crack at him the bet is on.”
She lifted her nose at the same time she snatched the paper from his hand, declaring, “He won’t walk away.”
“He might,” Aryas said gently, and his sudden loss of humor and careful tone made her focus on him again. “Beware of that. He’s done it before. In some ways, he doesn’t give a shit about anything. In some ways, he can be frustratingly choosy.”
“If I want him, he walks away, I’ll still get him,” she announced.
She drove into the Honey, seeing the parking lot empty except for Aryas’s black Cayenne and a black GMC SUV, feeling that hunger grow.
Fun and done.
She grabbed the handles of her small bag before she opened the door and threw her leg out.
As instructed (by Aryas), she parked close to and approached the back door to the club.
As expected, it was open.
She moved through the halls, keeping centered and focused so as not to have any kind of freakout that the last time she was there, she’d been carried out by Aryas, beaten to hell and not giving a damn.
Because she might have been beaten to hell.
But the worst of it was, her heart had been broken.
She walked directly to Aryas’s playroom, known as the red room since it was decorated in reds, and the opaque shades that could be drawn down over the wall of windows to black out what was inside were the only shades in any of the rooms that weren’t black, they were red.
As she approached, she saw the red shades were drawn down.
She kept her gait steady.
It had been a year and the last scene she’d had was a bad one. She’d been assaulted at the same time she’d had a relationship end very, very badly with a man she’d thought she’d loved and was considering spending the rest of her life with.
A year ago.
This was now.
It was just a look-over anyway. It might be she wouldn’t like what she saw. Or he wouldn’t. And then giving any headspace to worrying what came after that was just a waste.
She was a Domme.
She’d trained under Mistress Sixxand Mistress Amélie, the two finest Dommes Evangeline had ever had the honor to see at play.
And before Kevin, even if she’d only been in her late twenties, she was one of the most sought-after Dommes at the Honey.
Now she was just thirty years old and she made good money. She took care of herself. She was successful. Educated. She wasn’t hard to look at. She had her own style in looks, clothes (and play) that she was honing to perfection.
She could do this.
She totally could do this.
She opened the door, stepped in and saw him.
She was so totally going to do this.
She closed the door behind her, dropped her bag and stood right where she was.
Aryas’s red room, known as his because this was mostly where he took his slaves, looked more like an opulent boudoir. Plush. Sumptuous. Heavy, carved furniture. Big, posted bed dressed in red and topped at headboard and ceiling with mirrors. Candelabrums everywhere.
No candles had been lit right then. The scene was not set, only red-shaded table lamps here and there were illuminating the space.
It still gave it a feel.
And that feel was good.
But more, the man before her was amazing.
About The Author
Kristen Ashley was born in Gary, Indiana, USA and nearly killed her mother and herself making it into the world, seeing as she had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck (already attempting to accessorise and she hadn’t taken her first breath!). Her mother said they took Kristen away, put her Mom back in her room, her mother looked out the window, and Gary was on fire (Dr. King had been assassinated four days before). Kristen’s Mom remembered thinking it was the end of the world. Quite the dramatic beginning.
Kristen grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana and has lived in Denver, Colorado and the West Country of England. Thus, she’s blessed to have friends and family around the globe. Her family was (is) loopy (to say the least) but loopy is good when you want to write. They all lived together on a very small farm in a small farm town in the heartland. She grew up with Glenn Miller, The Everly Brothers, REO Speedwagon and Whitesnake (and the wardrobes that matched).
Needless to say, growing up in a house full of music, clothes and love was a good way to grow up.
And as she keeps growing, it keeps getting better.