Authors: S.E. Gilchrist
S. E. GILCHRIST
DESIRE FOR LOVE
S. E. GILCHRIST
All Rights Reserved
The right of Suzanne Hamilton writing as
to be identified as the author has been asserted by
her under the
Copyright Amendment (Moral Rights) Act 2000
This story is dedicated to:
For my wonderful children, Kerstie, Kyle and Blake
–you are always my soul.
For my mother for her courage and strength.
For my father for sharing with me his love of the sea
and this great country of ours.
And for my brothers, Michael, Paul & Peter – thank
you for sharing my childhood and giving me such great memories.
For Phil, for all those magic moments.
Last but not least - for my wonderful CP’s &
friends – Sandie James, Juanita Kees, Erin Moira O’Hara, and Kerrie Paterson.
SCIENCE FICTION ROMANCE
Darkon Warriors series
Legend Beyond the Stars
Awakening the Warriors
Star Pirate’s Justice
When Stars Collide
Bargain with the Enemy
Touring the Stars
The Slave Trap
Mars Academy Series:
Paying the Forfeit
Storm of Fire
Don’t Look Back (Warders of Earth)
Dance in the Outback
Cowboy under the Mistletoe (A Wingarobba
Bindarra Creek Makeover (A Bindarra Creek
The Cowboy’s Gift (A Wingarobba Outback
FANTASY/ANCIENT WORLDS EROTIC ROMANCE
Bound by Love
Bound by Lies
Book 1 in the Search for Home series
The Paper Cowboy (A Wingarobba Outback
From the living room of
their small rental, the chimes of the antique clock Madeline had been unable to
resist buying at a local garage sale rang out the half hour. She came flying
out of her bedroom, a partially packed duffle bag clasped in one hand and
attempting to brush her long hair with the other.
“That can’t be the time.
Please, Matty, tell me that isn’t the time?” She shoved her brush into the
duffle and scooped up her only pair of black-smut-bitch stilettos as she padded
across the scarred timber floor in her bare feet.
Her brother barely
managed to lift his eyes from the game he was playing on the television.
“You are no help.”
Madeline squeezed one foot into a strappy stiletto while continuing to hop
toward the front door.
Heaving a heavy sigh as
if he’d been asked to dig a trench from Karim, Texas all the way to New Orleans
with a spoon, Matty pushed aside his game console and
checked his mobile. “Yep. Seven thirty on the dot. You’re gonna be late.”
“Tell me something I
don’t know already.”
“You’ve still got your
sleep pants on.”
Madeline froze and stared
down at where, sure enough, her full-length, candy pink pants patterned with
yellow dogs wearing purple sunglasses covered her legs. Why oh why, hadn’t she
finished dressing in her work clothes the minute she’d gotten out of the
shower? But no, instead she’d pulled her comfort pants on without a second
thought. That damn meeting at the high school and the consequent announcement
that Karim Academy was increasing its fees. She’d been so rattled she’d totally
forgotten she was on roster for work tonight. “Oh, my God!”
“Chill, sis. They look
like sweat pants.”
“No, they don’t. They
look like pajamas. Shit! I don’t have time to change.”
Her brother made a big
show of tapping a finger against his mobile to remind her of the passing of
“I know. I know. Okay.”
Madeline pushed a strand of hair from her eyes. “Do your homework and don’t
forget to take out the trash. And bedtime is strictly nine o’clock.”
“Come on. I’ve got a
physics test tomorrow.”
Madeline made furious
hand gestures indicating his game console. “You could be studying now instead
of fooling about on-line.”
“You’re just pissed that
school meeting ran over-time.”
“Nine-thirty. No later.
And you’re right. Your principal wouldn’t stop talking. All that crap about
rising costs and teachers’ salaries.” She stopped, not wanting to keep venting
and knowing her brother was concerned about their tight finances. Although, he
liked to pretend otherwise. She smiled, relieved when he grinned back.
“I’ve gotta go. I’ll
change at work.” She reached over and planted a kiss on her brother’s mop of
straight brown hair. “Make sure the door’s locked.”
“Don’t stress, sis. I’m
fifteen, not a baby.”
No, he wasn’t a baby but
he was all the family Madeline had and she didn’t intend to take any chances
where he was concerned. Especially as their rental house was situated in a
fairly rough neighborhood smack bang on the edge of gang territory.
It’s all I can afford and
it won’t be forever.
“Just do it. Okay?” She
slipped on her other shoe.
“’Kay.” Matty picked up
his console, no doubt already dismissing his sister from his mind.
Madeline rolled her eyes
and hauled her thick, red and green checked overcoat with attached hoodie over
her scarlet corset and wrapped a white woolly scarf several times around her
She hustled out the door
and down the three steps onto the cracked cement path to where their rust
bucket of a Chevy was parked at the curb. The sedan was thirsty on the gas, but
was built like a tank which gave Madeline some peace of mine with Matty eager
to get his driving license as soon as legally possible.
Night had fallen. Their
road was poorly lit by the few street lights that remained un-smashed by the
street gangs. A cold wind picked up, rustling dry leaves from the ancient Drake
Elm tree planted in their front yard and she hopped into the car with a sigh of
relief. There was something eerie about the sound that had sent a quiver over
her skin. Shaking off her momentary unease, she cranked the engine and reached
for her seat belt.
She headed to the center
of town as fast as she dared. The last thing she needed at the moment was a
speeding ticket. Driving with one hand on the steering wheel, she slapped on
makeup with the other. Whenever she stopped at the lights to wait for them to
turn green, she peered at her reflection in the mirror.
Every so often, she
wriggled her toes to increase circulation. The car’s heater wasn’t
working—again—and Madeline’s feet were rapidly becoming numb. Her breath made
small clouds of fog inside the cold car as she blew on first one hand and then
the other, to warm her freezing fingers. With the temperature rapidly dropping
to its forecast of thirty-one degrees, just the thought of how cold it was
outside had her shivering.
One day. One day, I’ll be
able to say goodbye to this job forever. Move to a decent neighborhood. Get a
It wasn’t that she
disliked working at the Club. In fact, she enjoyed her position as a female Dom
and, she had to admit, she reveled in having a man on his knees in front of
her. But it wasn’t her forever job. On a very basic level, she suspected
remaining at the Club kept her from moving on emotionally from her difficult
And there were times when
she wondered whether her joy in forcing a man to submit was merely her way of
punishing the guy who’d planted his seed in her teenage mother and never came
Her shoulders slumped and
she huddled deeper into her jacket.
Enough of this psychoanalysis bullshit
Who cared what her reasons were? All that mattered was she had a well-paying
job that was funding her plans for the future. And she’d do whatever was
necessary to keep a roof over their heads and give her younger brother the
opportunities she never had. She would keep their little family of two
together. Matty would get a good education. He would have choices and if all
went according to Madeline’s schedule, they’d both be on their way to a new
life. The outcome all hinged on Madeline finishing her degree and keeping her
brother at the prestigious Karim Academy. And most importantly, away from the
possibility of being sucked into the shadowy world inhabited by the gangs that
prowled this end of town.
At the next corner, she
took a hard right then the third turn to the left onto Gerome Street, slowing
as she searched for a parking lot not too far from the Club’s entrance. She
parked several doors down, locked the Chevy, and pulled on a pair of gloves
over her stiff fingers. Duffle in hand, she strode past two bars that thumped
with hard rock and the roar of noisy crowds.
At least the street was
well lit, with old fashioned wrought iron lamp posts. Although situated in the
old section of the city, the area was reasonably affluent with its dark
architecture and narrow windows.
Madeline smirked. No
doubt from all the business the Club threw to the other bars and cafes nearby.
Her heels clattered on
the stone pavement as she approached the Club. Situated on the corner and three
levels high with no windows on the ground level, it dominated its smaller
neighbors with its aura of danger. Or was it the forbidden? There were several
balconies on the upper levels, but all the doors were closed, and the upper
Madeline eyed the black
door, wondering over the unusual reluctance that suddenly gripped her.
another work day.
She wiped her clammy hand over the side of her coat before
placing it on the scanner.
There was a click and the
door swung silently open to reveal a large marble-tiled foyer manned by one of
the regular security guys, Ezekiel Harding. Black shades covered his eyes, and
his face remained expressionless as he stared Madeline up and down as she
“Nice outfit, Frosty.
What is it, a twisted take on a new BDSM role-play?” A grin split his face as
he rocked back on his Italian, hand-made boots and took another long look at
“You’ll never know.”
Madeline deliberately refrained from making a big deal over the name she’d
earned for herself amongst both the staff and the clientele of the Club. She
knew it stemmed from her continued aloof attitude. This was work, which in her
eyes meant maintaining a professional façade at all times.
Besides, her feelings had
been well and truly locked away the day she discovered her prostitute mother
dead from an overdose on the floor of their trailer.
Orphaned at sixteen,
destitute, and with the role of mother to her four-year old half-brother thrust
upon her, she’d been desperate to avoid social services and the possibility of
being separated from her brother. They’d stayed off the radar with Madeline
taking any work she could get—washing dishes, working at truck stops, waiting
tables. They’d lived in squats at first, then graduated into a tiny bed-sitter
that remained their home for a couple of years until she’d landed the job at
the Club, thanks to Jet Mak. He’d taken a chance on employing a girl with
little experience, but Madeline hoped she’d made it up to him by working hard
and abiding by the Club’s rules.
With the irregular hours
and often late nights working at the Club and with her family commitments, she
had little time to spare for making friends. And certainly hadn’t actively
sought a long term relationship for herself. She’d learnt early on that guys
who professed an interest in her, were only after one thing; a quick fuck,
another notch on their bedpost. Just like all the men who’d walked so casually
and so damned callously in and out of her fragile mother’s life.
Just like all those other
guys, they certainly weren’t interested in anything more long term. Not when
they realized Madeline came with a brother.
Never, never would she
give her brother up and lose him in the system.
When the Club initially
opened its doors, she was one of the first to apply for employment. Fantastic
wages, tight security, and hours with a bit of wiggle room that allowed her to
play an active part in Matty’s life.
She took a firmer grip on
her duffle bag and went to brush past Harding.
“Hold on a sec, Frosty.
You’re to report to Roberta the moment you arrive.” He hesitated a beat before
adding, “Be careful, she’s up to something.”
“Thanks, Ezekiel. I
appreciate the warning.” She passed through the first door on the right that
housed the evening security office and climbed the stairs to the next floor,
thereby avoiding having to walk through the Club and maybe scare off any early
patrons with her manner of dress.
She kept going to the
third floor, where the room she normally used was located and where her
supervisor, Roberta Sangrini, had her office next to one of the owner’s suites.
Taking a deep breath, she knocked once on the door and without waiting for a
Roberta sat behind a desk
working on what looked like the roster for the coming month. She didn’t look up
and pointed at a chair facing the desk.
Repressing her sigh,
Madeline sat as indicated, placing her duffle on her lap and hoping by doing
so, an argument about her clothes could be averted.
Apparently, not a chance.
“I saw you arrive on the
security screens.” Roberta leaned back and eyed Madeline coldly. “What the hell
do you think you’re doing coming to work dressed like some homeless whore.”
This woman was a total
Remember Matty’s school fees. Remember the rent. Remember the plan.
was running late. Anyway, it’s early. There shouldn’t be too many punters
“That’s beside the point.
You know the rules. The second you walk in the Club’s door, you become the
Club. You are a walking, talking advertisement for us. This is your final
By using super human
effort, Madeline managed not to roll her eyes. What was with Roberta’s
insistence on all the girls who worked in her section using flower names? It
was dumb. And so was Roberta’s chosen persona;
“Are you smiling?”
Roberta said in a voice that could have frozen hell.
“No, it’s a nervous
habit,” Madeline quickly improvised.
“Mmmm.” Roberta picked up
a pen and tapped it on the desk. Now
smiled one of her saccharin
smiles and all Madeline’s senses went on high alert. It was never a good thing,
when her supervisor was amused. It meant trouble for someone.
“I have a special
appointment for you tonight.”
Madeline frowned. “What
about my regular?”
“She cancelled. Something
about her mother in the nursing home.”
“Oh no. I hope it’s
nothing serious. I know how close she is to her mom.”
“Who cares? How about we
concentrate on your job? Now.” Roberta steepled her fingers together. “There’s
been a bet placed in the Club and it concerns you. It’s a very impressive score
and the Club’s managers are keen that the house wins. I hope you understand.”