Authors: Julia Sykes
By Julia Sykes
For the wonderful ladies of the Julia Sykes Dark and Dirty Street Team.
Thanks for being awesome!
Series Reading Order
While the books in the
series can be read as standalone romances, the following is the chronological order
of the stories:
Impossible: The Original Trilogy (Monster, Traitor, and Avenger)
Thanks for trying out
If you enjoy the characters in this story, check out Clayton’s book,
Smith also has his own book,
Please note that the events in
take place between those in
I do not look like a hooker. I do not look like a hooker.
The mantra rang false in my own head. My clothes were wanton, and it was a struggle
to conceal my embarrassment at being so exposed. My fingers twitched to tug down
the hem of my far-too-short PVC skirt, but I stopped myself just in time, smoothing
my hands down the slick material instead. I fought back the urge to grind my teeth.
Don’t fuck this up, Silverman.
I was supposed to appear imperious, utterly confident and in control. Recalling the
videos I had studied online in preparation for this operation, I rearranged my features
into something I hoped passed for haughtiness.
Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed Miller’s full lips quirk upward, as though
he found my efforts amusing. The irritation that flooded me nearly ruined my coolly
I had been on the receiving end of that look from Smith and Clayton plenty of times,
and while it was annoying as hell, at least they had the years of experience in the
field to make their cockiness bearable. Reed Miller was a rookie. He had only just
been assigned to the New York unit of the FBI three days ago, straight out of Quantico.
The fact that I had been partnered with him only further proved how little the men
thought of me.
Hell, this whole assignment was an insult, busy-work to make the weak little female
agent feel useful. Miller and I had been sent into the BDSM club Decadence to scope
out the place for drug use. Once we gathered evidence tonight, the FBI would give
the NYPD the green light to bust this place.
But the truth was, there was no need for the FBI to be involved in this reconnaissance
mission to begin with. Sure, I had been assigned to the Violent Gang Task Force,
but that job entailed investigating drug trafficking and mobsters, not arresting people
for partying too hard at a club. The NYPD should be dealing with this, not us. I
should be out kicking ass and taking down scumbags, not dressing up like a whore and
using my feminine wiles to gather information.
I smothered a decidedly un-feminine snort.
were definitely not one of my strong suits. Case in point: I wobbled on my ridiculously
high heels. I was accustomed to sensible shoes, damn it. These boots were ludicrously
impractical for chasing down bad guys.
Miller’s lips twitched again at my obvious instability on my feet. That bronze skin
and glossy black hair might be appealing to some women. So might his strong jaw and
full-lipped smirk. I, however, was impervious to his overt masculinity. He grated
on me too intensely for me to ever find him attractive. He wouldn’t be able to use
his good looks as a distraction when it came to me.
I resolved to spar with him in the training room as soon as possible. He wouldn’t
be nearly as cocky once I knocked him flat on his ass in front of the other guys.
His impressive musculature told me his superior strength would give him an edge, but
I had learned how to use my small stature to my advantage in a fight. I would have
him pinned before he knew what hit him.
Now it was my turn to shoot him a secretive, pleased smile. He quirked an intrigued
eyebrow at me, evidently impressed by my confident expression. My smugness only increased.
Miller might think he was special because he was some badass Dominant, but it wasn’t
all that difficult to affect the necessary arrogant attitude. My boss, Kennedy Carver,
had personally recruited him to the New York unit to run this op with me. Kennedy
insisted that someone who was experienced in “the lifestyle” accompany me.
There were now so many Doms in the New York field office that the excessive testosterone
was sure to suffocate the rest of us. It was becoming more and more apparent that
Kennedy had a hiring bias. I supposed I should feel lucky that
diversity initiatives had likely forced him to take me on. With my mocha latte skin
and my female anatomy, I was basically a required hire, a fact which only further
got my hackles up. I would rather know I had earned my position through my own merits.
I straightened my shoulders. Miller might think he was going to carry this op because
he was a “real” Dominant, but I had done my research. I would show him that his pretentious
attitude was easily mimicked rather than being some elusive, special quality that
made him somehow superior to me. Proving myself was going to be an uphill battle,
be a respected field agent, god damn it.
To be honest, the videos I had found on the seedy underbelly of the internet led me
to believe that Dominants were simply people on a power trip. I had stumbled across
some horrific scenes. Granted, I had only watched the clips rather than purchasing
full-length videos – I
didn’t want that on my list of credit card transactions – but the clips had been enough
to disturb me. Images of women laughing while they tortured submissive men, and of
men degrading women, made me feel ill. I didn’t understand the lifestyle at all.
And I didn’t understand how Kennedy, Smith, and sweet Clayton could be into such twisted
I shook images of Clayton tying me down and spanking me from my mind. Some of the
women in those videos hadn’t been screaming in pain, and those images had led to some
decidedly disconcerting dreams involving my gorgeous friend.
Keep your head in the game, Silverman,
I reprimanded myself.
It didn’t matter if I understood BDSM. All that mattered was that I carry out the
charade of understanding for a few hours so I could do a damn good job and impress
the guys at the office.
“We should split up,” I told Miller. “I don’t want people thinking we’re a couple.
It’ll be easier to mingle if we’re single.”
He shot me a lopsided grin, an infuriatingly knowing twinkle in his black eyes. “I
don’t know if it’s a good idea for me to leave you alone in here. Not all Doms are
nice, and some like to prey on pretty little newbies. Even if they are dressed like
He didn’t flinch in the wake of my deep brown glare. My irritation ratcheted up a
notch. “Listen, Miller. If you think for one second that I’m going to let you take
the lead, you’re mistaken. Might I remind you that
the newbie here, not me.”
I couldn’t snap at him for being a rookie in so many words, but my meaning was clear.
He held up his hands in a placating, patronizing gesture. “Hey, I’m just trying to
watch out for you. I’m here because you’re out of your element.” He jerked his chin
at two men who were leaning against the bar. Strips of black leather punctuated by
silver rings crisscrossed their bare chests. They both smiled and dropped their admiring
gazes when I glanced their way.
“You might have the subs fooled,” Miller continued, “but the more experienced Doms
will see right through you, no matter how you dress.” The cocky light left his eyes,
and his expression turned more serious. “I’m your partner on this because I’m supposed
to watch your back in unfamiliar territory. We should stick together.”
My frown stayed firmly in place. “If you want to watch my back, feel free. But I’ll
be focusing on doing my job.”
To punctuate my point, I turned sharply, tossing my mass of glossy black curls as
I literally showed him my back. His chuckle as I teetered on my heels set my teeth
on edge. Smoothing my features, I found my balance again and strode confidently into
I quickly realized just how difficult feigning nonchalance would be. Watching thirty
second clips and looking at thumbnail images on my laptop hadn’t even begun to prepare
me for the real thing.
A man screamed, and I jolted, spinning to face the threat. He was chained to the
wall, and a slender blonde woman in a glossy black catsuit was gripping his balls
with her fingernails. Vitriol spewed from her lips as she told the man how unworthy
he was, how small his cock was, how pathetic he was. Her soft green eyes were slightly
unfocused, and sweat beaded on her brow. The woman was obviously high on something,
and I had a feeling it wasn’t adrenaline.
“Thank you, Mistress!” He cried out his gratitude for the insults, his face contorted
in pain. My stomach turned. How could people stand by and watch such cruelty? How
could they not say something when this intoxicated woman was hurting the chained man?
I bit my lip. Maybe this was normal? As much as I hated to admit it – even to myself
out of my element. I was suddenly wary, ill at ease. That sickening sense of being
helplessly trapped in a mortifying situation clung to me. I might as well be standing
naked in front of all these people, with a giant spotlight on me.
Only, I got the feeling no one in here would bat an eye at my nudity.
The man screamed again, the chilling sound penetrating my moment of obvious discomfiture.
Suppressing a shudder, I moved on. Adrenaline began to burn through me in response
to my deep sense of discomfort in this place. My hands threatened to start shaking.
I clasped them behind my back. Strolling through this terrifying place with my shoulders
proudly thrown back would be much better than balling my hands to tight fists at my
This time, it was a woman’s shouts that pierced my ears. Only, these cries had a
different feel to them. They were warmer, less shrill. They didn’t set off my protective
instincts like the man’s screams had. Deciding this would be a safer scene to watch
without freaking the hell out, I made my best attempt at a casual amble towards the
The woman was bound over what I identified as a spanking bench. Her cuffed wrists
held her torso down on the flat padded surface, and restraints around her ankles kept
her knees spread wide. She was bent at the waist, and her tormentor was taking advantage
of her vulnerable position.
popped through the air as the grey-haired man brought a black leather paddle down
on her ass, spreading the hits carefully until her pale skin reddened. Then he flipped
the paddle and lightly rubbed its soft, fur-lined side over the woman’s enflamed flesh.
She moaned, and I was struck by her expression of complete, blissful release. This
woman was high, too, but I didn’t think she had taken any drugs.
I became transfixed by the rapture that illuminated her soft features. What would
it be like to feel that free?
The grey-haired man caught me staring. I met his bright blue eyes, and my cheeks
heated. He winked at me and then delivered a resounding blow on the woman’s thigh.
She threw her head back and shrieked in pained delight as he drove her higher.
My heart beat faster as my disquiet returned. How could I watch a man beating a woman
and find it to be anything but disgustingly wrong? I should be fighting back the
urge to run forward and beat the crap out the man with his own paddle. I felt confused,
alone, vulnerable. And that made me mad as hell. I didn’t do vulnerable. I kicked
ass and took names.
I wasn’t going to fail tonight. Not again.
“Beautiful, isn’t it?”
I jolted at the whispered words. They were low and sensual and far too close. I
whirled, instinct driving me to assume a defensive stance in response to the perceived
threat hovering just behind me.
But I forgot about the goddamn high heels, and my ankle turned in my boot at the sudden
movement. Strong, calloused hands closed around my arms, their firm grip saving me
from what would have been a humiliating fall.
The touch of an unfamiliar man sent me into fight mode. My upper arms were trapped,
but I bent at the elbow to throw a punch at the pressure point just to the inside
of his armpit. The pain should send him sprawling. Shock jolted through me when
he grabbed my wrist, stopping me before the blow landed.
That half a second could have meant the difference between life and death, but my
captor didn’t meet my attempted attack with aggression. I glanced up at the man who
could do some serious damage if he decided to lash out at me now.
Caramel eyes framed in dark lashes mocked me from above. Way above. Even elevated
by my high heels, I had to crane my neck almost all the way back to meet those eyes.
The smirking tilt of his full lips sent sparks of irritation crackling through me.
“You’re dressed all wrong, you know,” he said, his voice an arrogant, deep timbre.
“Those boots are ridiculous. If you can’t walk in stilettos, I suggest you go barefoot.
Lots of subs do.”
My anger surged, a blaze that consumed the warmth of those discomfiting sparks. I
recognized the man now: Derek Carter, owner of Decadence. His sandy hair – cut close
on the sides and sexily mussed on top – and angular features matched the driver’s
license photo in his file, but the camera hadn’t quite managed to capture the unique
golden tone of his eyes.
The blatant indignation in my little gasp only further stoked my aggravation. It
was a petulant sound. I didn’t do petulant. Displaying none of my trained grace,
I jerked out of his hold. The upward twist of his lips let me know that the only
reason I escaped him was because he allowed it.