Desire for Love (The Club #13) (3 page)

For some strange, stupid
reason she’d wanted to cry.

Would he have given her a
second glance if they’d met on the street? In the supermarket? A bar? Or would
he have walked on by, not noticing that she lived and breathed? That she’d
liked the way his smile slammed straight towards her heart with the impact of a
punch. 

She stepped up to him
again and rubbed her aching mons against his hard backside, his barely caught
moan delighting her. One thing was sure obvious, the guy had the hots for her,
big time.

And oh Lordy, did she
have the hots for him, too.

Damn that bet.

Who would have thought,
the one man who pulled at all her senses would wander into the Club and into
her BDSM room?

Her eyes fluttered
half-closed as pleasure tingled through her from where she brushed against his
hot skin. She wanted desperately to pull open her corset and feel her breasts
press against his hardness. She wanted skin on skin.

He inhaled deeply, the
motion arching his back, and Madeline gave into her desire. Not wanting to
think twice about it, she slipped off her G-string and laid down on top of him.

A delicious shiver
pebbled over her skin as she rubbed her bare mons against him.

Her heartbeat thumping
like mad, she slid her splayed hands over his sides and explored his chest.
When her fingers found his nipples, she tugged hard. Three times before she let
her hands drift over his flat stomach to where she teased the hair covering his
groin.

He flung his head back.

His breathing was little
more than guttural pants that triggered a primeval response deep inside her.

Startled, she slid off
him. Chest heaving and with a tiny flicker of fear trickling through her mind,
she hurried over to the props table.
I need to focus on my job, not some
guy’s fine ass and blue eyes
.

Almost blindly, she
picked up a thinly cushioned paddle and a leather whip.
Make him beg for it.
Make him lose it. Then I can get out of here and away from him.

She said, “You need to be
taught who is in control.”
Me. It has to be me. Then I’ll be safe.

Confidence restored, if a
trifle shaky, she turned around and caught him staring with glazed eyes at her
bare bottom. She walked toward him. His eyes never left her shaven mons. He
licked his lips. His shoulder line was taut and there was a lean, hungry cast
to his features that thrilled her deep to her bones.

“Do you want this?” She
tapped the shaft of the whip gently against her skin. Watching him closely, she
stopped a few inches from him and slid the whip between her legs. Back and
forth, ensuring the shaft was slick from her juices. Heart racing, she offered
it to him.

His tongue flicked out
and licked furiously along the shaft.

She took a tiny step
closer and whispered, “Do you want more?”

When he nodded, she
added, “Then you may taste me.”

A savage groan split from
his lips and before she could move, he reached out, grabbing her by the
buttocks and smashing her against his face. His mouth and nose moved
frantically over her skin. His tongue delved between her legs and lapped over
her swollen labia. His breath was hot, branding her. The props fell from her
nerveless fingers. He gulped, like he was drinking her juices and she grasped
his hair, urging him closer.

Her legs were turning to
jelly.

Lust burned like fire
through her veins and throbbed like war-drums inside her head.
OMG! I’m
going to come.
She trembled. Poised on the edge.

But his mouth left her.

She swayed as he surged
like a powerful god to his feet. Dazed and consumed with a mind-numbing desire
for this man, her body demanding he feed her sexual needs, she offered no
resistance when he swept her into his arms and carried her to bed.

He dropped her.

She fell onto the furry
cover, the lush fibers tickling her skin. One slick move and he’d rolled her
over onto her stomach and spread her legs. She heard the crackle of plastic and
knew he was unwrapping a condom.

Wait.
The word trembled on her lips only to die when he inserted his finger deep into
her vagina. Her hands clenched over the fur. He pushed further inside before
withdrawing and rubbing his finger over and over her wet folds. His hand left
her and she began to push herself up onto her elbows. “Fun stuff is over. You
need to get back into your role as a sub,” she mumbled.

“The fun is only
beginning, babe. Feel me. Feel me while I fuck us both senseless.” He growled,
bit her right bottom, then he reached around underneath her.

She heard him scrabbling
about the bedclothes and the next instant, he lifted her lower torso up with
one hand while he placed a fetish position master covered with a thick, rough,
hairy material under her. With her bum now higher than her head, he snapped the
buckle over her back, locking her in place. His hands grasped her thighs,
pulling her legs further apart.

Breathing harshly, he
moved. His cock poked at her entrance. His hand brushed against her as he slid
his knob over her aching flesh. He sucked in a loud breath. Thrust. Madeline
moaned as he drove deeper and deeper, filling her emptiness with all his heat,
hardness, and hungry need.

He thrust. Faster and
faster.

Deeper.

Harder.

She could barely breathe.
The air became rich with his musky scent and the ripe smell of sex that
tantalized her senses. Her fingers clawed at the fur.

With each thrust, her
naked mons dragged up and down the position master. The roughness scraped over
her skin. The combination of mild pain and the intense pleasure from his
fucking were mind blowing.

“Come with me, babe. Let
me take you to our special place.”

He pounded into her, so
fast he barely eased his cock out before he thrust again.

“Harder,” she pleaded,
her eyes squeezed shut.

Groaning, he obliged and
sent her plummeting into the most intense orgasm of her life. Ecstasy shot
through her, blackening her vision even as bright light exploded in the
darkness. Her whole body pulsated in one mass of pure pleasure.

He grunted, stiffened,
and shot his seed into the condom.

Panting, his body slick
with sweat, he rested on top of her while she fought to regain her senses.

“Not bad,” she managed.

“My hour’s not up.” He
rolled over and undid the buckles before pulling her upright.

Breathless, still reeling
from the pleasure that continued to ripple through her, she helped him fling
back the fur cover to reveal the slinky silk sheets.

He lifted the top sheet
and invited her to slip between them where he quickly joined her. Pulling the
sheet up over until they were hidden from the eyes behind the security cameras,
his mouth claimed hers.

Chapter Three

Madeline sat on the edge
of the bed, wrapped in a red, satin sheet and stared at the business card
Harrison had pressed into her hand before he left. Talk about rocking her
world. She felt different, uncertain, like she’d been suddenly presented with a
beautifully gift-wrapped box. If she unwrapped it, what would she find? Hope?
Love? A different life to what she’d mapped out for herself? Or a bomb that
would explode in her face and destroy everything she’d worked so hard to make
happen?

Of course, she could
simply pretend nothing momentous had occurred; that the cage she’d built around
herself hadn’t been thoroughly shaken.

Damn Harrison.

Damn his ocean-deep blue
eyes that gave the impression they glowed with more than desire for her. With
tenderness.

And damn his mighty fine
body that had lured her into making what could end up being the biggest mistake
of her life.

Her gaze shot to the
security camera nestled in the closest corner of the room.

By now, Roberta would
know Madeline had lost the Club the bet.

Under cover of the sheet,
Madeline pulled her clothes back on. Her fingers shook as she slid the thin
cardboard into the top of her corset. She shoved aside the sheet and, knees
trembling, pushed to her feet.

The door flung open with
such force it slammed into the side wall and bounced back. If Roberta hadn’t
been moving so fast, it would have whacked her in the face.

I wish
.

“What a major fuck up.
What the hell were you thinking?” Roberta’s eyes blazed with fury, her face as
hard as granite.

Had she been in the
security room the entire time watching? Madeline’s skin crawled at the thought.
The top sheet had covered them, but only an idiot wouldn’t recognize the
movements beneath.

There was nothing
Madeline could say in her defense. And there was no way she’d indicate any of
the confused emotions whirling inside her heart.

“And what the fuck are
you doing in this room? You’re supposed to be in the green one tonight.”

“The board said
The
Red Room
.”

“You just cost m…I mean
the Club, a shitload of money. Nothing to say for yourself?” Roberta planted
herself in front of Madeline and leaned into her personal space. She squinted.
“Oh.
My. God,”
she said, spacing out the words. “You fell for him. That’s rich.”
Roberta laughed harshly. Leaning forward she spat, “You fool. He knew about the
bet. He was working you the entire time. And you fell for it.”

I knew there was the possibility
he was in on the bet.
But there’d been no smug
satisfaction in his face and Madeline prided herself on her ability to read
people. In her job, it was imperative to know how hard to push the dominance,
when to ease off, when to give her clients a break.
Surely I didn’t imagine
that expression of dazed awe?
I must have if he was in on the bet. I’ve
been conned.
Sick to her stomach, Madeline hugged her waist and went to
walk out of the room.

“Don’t you dare turn your
back on me.” Roberta grabbed Madeline by the arm, pulling her to a stop. “Clear
out your locker. You’re fired. Do you hear?”

Madeline raised her chin,
while everything she possessed shook inside. “My contract is with Jet.”

“Consider it null and
void. As your supervisor and…” Roberta paused and lifted a finger with a nail
filed to knife sharpness into the air “...since you have refused to perform
your duty as requested by management, you are out of here.”

“I need to speak with
Jet.”

“That will get you
nowhere.”

“That bet…that bet was
downright disgusting. I can’t believe Jet would have had anything to do with
it.”

Roberta’s face turned
purple.

Shit, she looks like
she’s about to have a stroke.
“I need this job.
I’m sure if I could just speak with Jet, we could work something out.”

“Oh! Like how you can
repay half a million dollars? I don’t think so! You’re nothing but trailer
trash and I want you out of here this minute. Or do I have to call security?”

Madeline repressed a
shudder at the humiliation of being strong-armed out of the building. What
Roberta was doing was probably illegal, but considering the rage the woman was
in, now wasn’t the time to debate the point.
I’m not going to let this lie
though.

Madeline said, “That
won’t be necessary. I expect to be paid for this week’s wages.”

“You’ll be paid for the
hours you’ve worked and not a dollar more.”

“Let go of me before I
sue you for assault.” Madeline shook her arm, dislodging the other woman’s hand
and stalked to the door, head high.
I’m not going to cry. And certainly not
in front of this bitch.

She’d hoped to have a
quiet word with the other staff before she left, but Roberta walked behind her
every step of the way.
I have Sasha’s address and I know she’s a friend of
Brittany’s. I’ll go over tomorrow and see if Sasha can give me Jet’s private
email address or his mobile number.
If that doesn’t work, I’ll seek
legal advice.

***

The following morning,
Madeline dragged herself out of bed, showered, dressed in a flannel shirt over
a T-shirt and sweat pants before staggering out to the kitchen to where her
brother was wolfing down a bowl of hot oatmeal.

“Wow. You look like
shit.”

She wasn’t surprised,
having spent what was left of the night tossing and turning, worrying over
their future. What was worse were the tears she spilled whenever her wayward
thoughts turned to Harrison.
You would have thought I’d learned my lesson by
now. I’m better off alone. Just me and Matty.
Her vision blurred as she
stared at her younger brother. “Tone down the language, Matty, please.”

“I left you some breakfast.
Check the pot on the stove.” Matty turned his attention back to the textbook he
was reading as he ate.

“Thanks. Maybe later.”
Madeline eyed her brother’s down bent head.
Do I tell him I’ve been fired?
Maybe I should wait until after I’ve spoken with Jet.
She did some mental
arithmetic and calculated if they were careful, her savings would last five and
a bit weeks. Plenty of time to sort out this mess. “I’ll drive you to school.
It looks horribly cold outside.”

“Thanks, sis. Give me
ten.” He shoved to his feet and carted his empty bowl to the sink to rinse it
out and place it on the drying rack. He shot her a quick grin as he grabbed his
book in passing.

Alone, Madeline pushed
aside the curtain and stared at the rain running down the pane. Looked like today
was going to be miserable weather wise.
Exactly how I feel.
But I’m
not going down without a fight. If Roberta thinks she is going to get away with
whatever shady scheme she’s involved in, she is dead wrong.

She swiped up her handbag
and car keys, and marched to the door where she pulled on a pair of flat-heeled
boots and her overcoat.

“Hustle, Matthew!”

“Okay, okay. Geez, give
me a break.” Her brother trundled down the hallway, grumbling while Madeline
opened the front door.

The roads were slippery.
The light drizzle falling from the sky wasn’t sufficient to wash away the
residue oil and grease left by the traffic. It took them longer than normal to
drive to where Karim Academy was located in a more affluent section of town.

Madeline double-parked,
leaving the engine running while her brother opened the passenger door.

He hopped out, then about
to shut the door, ducked his head back inside to say, “I should have asked at
breakfast, but are you alright, sis?”

“I’m fine.” She smiled.
“I didn’t sleep, that’s all.”

The driver in the car
behind leaned on the horn.

Matty frowned. “If some
guy is giving you grief, let me know.”

Tears pricked Madeline’s
eyes. “I will. Now, shoo. The first bell’s sounded. You want me to pick you
up?”

“That’ll be great but I’m
staying back to do some work in the lab. Later suits me better, say
five-thirty?”

“It’s a date. Be good.”
Smiling, Madeline waved him on his way and drove off. Out of sight, she pulled
over to the curb to dry her cheeks and blow her nose. Fifteen but already showing
signs of the man he’d become. Looking out for his older sister.

She wiped away the last
of her tears.
It’s not like me to be so emotional. Must be hormonal. It
certainly has nothing to do with being suckered by a guy with an engaging grin
and warm blue eyes.

After digging her mobile
out of her handbag, she checked for messages, in particular looking for a
response to the text she’d sent Jet’s business mobile last night.

Nothing.

Next she scrolled through
her list of contacts until she found Sasha Childs, who had been rostered on to
work in the main bar last night. Madeline brought up the details and address.
Of all the other staff in the Club, Sasha had always been the friendliest.
She’d even sent Madeline a Christmas card with her address on it and an
invitation to come over any time. To date, Madeline had managed to come up with
plausible excuses and as their working hours rarely aligned, she’d been able to
avoid alienating Sasha with her reluctance to be friends.

She checked the time.
Nine o’clock. Probably a bit early for a visit for a woman who’d worked most of
the night before but Madeline didn’t want to waste any time. She needed this
job issue sorted, fast.

She tossed her mobile
onto the seat and pulled out into the traffic. Sasha lived in a new apartment
building situated in the old quarter of town. Some enterprising developer had
pulled down the gloomy Victorian structure that originally stood on the
allotment and built an imposing building of glass and pre-cast cement painted
black. Madeline had to cruise around two blocks to find a parking spot and then
slog her way back to the apartment, huddled deep in her overcoat.

After pressing the buzzer
to Sasha’s apartment, Madeline stamped her feet and shivered as a blast of icy
wind buffeted her. When Sasha tinny voice asked who was there, Madeline spoke
her name. The lock released and she hurried inside to take the elevator to the
fourth floor. Sasha answered on her third knock, only opening the door a crack
revealing her swollen, red-rimmed eyes and a white woolly dressing gown she
clutched at her chest.

“Madeline. You shouldn’t
be here,” she said in a flat tone.

Madeline frowned. There
was a hard-edged note in her work colleague’s voice she’d never heard before.
“Is everything okay with you?”

“Why wouldn’t it be?”

“Um, I don’t know, you
look…. My mistake. I’m sorry for barging in on you like this, but you’re the
only one who can help me. I need Jet’s private mobile number or email address.
Or even Brittany in accounts. I’ve tried their business ones and haven’t had
any luck.”

“Not gonna happen.” Sasha
made to close the door.

Madeline pushed against
it with her full body weight. “Wait. Please. I don’t know what you’ve heard but
I need this info.”

“Shit, Madeline, it’s all
around the Club. Probably all around Karim by now, too. I can’t help you. No
way do I want a police record as an accessory.”

“What?” Madeline’s heart
thundered in her ears. “What are you talking about?”

“You stole money from one
of your clients. Took it from his wallet while he was showering. Roberta says
the client intends to sue the Club and its owners personally and report you to
the cops. We’ve all been told not to speak to you in case we come under
suspicion too and investigated as accessories or worse, that we’re involved in
a bigger scam. Roberta hinted there’s money missing from the bar till last
night before you left.”

Madeline squeezed her
eyes shut for a moment, remembering how she’d helped herself to a small glass
of white wine. And how the bar crew had been busy retrieving dirty glasses from
a party in another room. There’d been no one around at the time.
Shit.
She’d
opened the till and placed a five-dollar bill inside as payment—that meant her
fingerprints would be all over it.

Her stomach knotted as
cold sweat formed along her spine. “None of that’s true,” whispered Madeline.
What
the hell is happening? What money? And what client?
She’d only had the one
last night and look what a disaster that turned out to be.

“Honey, all I know is
that security has been beefed up, there’s talk of warrants for the cops to poke
through our lockers, and all the vid feeds for the past month are being
scrutinized by the suits. You, Madeline, are a strictly no go zone.”

The police?
“Sasha,
you have to help me. It’s imperative that I speak to Jet. Or Brittany, if
possible.” She dragged in a deep breath to steady her racing pulse and tried to
think logically. “You let me into your building. You didn’t have to do that and
that tells me you want to help.”

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