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Alice Cavanaugh learned early that the only person she could count on was herself. As a single mom, she works hard to provide the best life possible for her son Charlie, and to earn the respect of those around her. She might take part in a scene at The Club, but she's way too busy to be anyone's full-time submissive. And that's fine with her, since the one dominant she's fantasized about submitting to has given her nothing but mixed-signals and heartache… until now.
Alexander "Slay" Slater, a former Marine and Dungeon Master at The Club, has been eyeing Alice for a while now… from a distance. But now that he's set his sights on her, he's all in. He will make her feel safe and cared for, and attend to her every need—including taking her over his knee for a sound spanking when she needs it.
But when Alice and Slay are roped into a dangerous entanglement with an insidious drug cartel, their relationship is put to the test. Can Alice trust Slay, even when it means ignoring her own fears and instincts? Can Slay keep Alice safe from the dangers that they face? Above all, can they overcome the obstacles that keep them apart—so that Slay can become Alice's Daddy, and Alice… his babygirl?
DISCLAIMER: This book contains the spanking of adult women, mild elements of age-play, and BDSM including power exchange. If any of these offend you, please do not purchase.
*** Currently available exclisively at Amazon ***
Alice darted a nervous glance up and down the quiet street. After assuring herself that it was completely deserted, she put a slightly crumpled cigarette between her lips and lit it. As she inhaled deeply, letting the acrid smoke sear a path down her throat and into her lungs, she felt something inside her loosen and rolled her eyes at her own behavior.
Sneaking around like you’re sixteen again, Alice?
She reminded herself that smoking, while hardly the healthiest choice for many reasons, was not illegal for God’s sake—not even in Boston, so long as she stayed away from building entrances. And if the residents here on Queensborough Street—a mixture of professionals from the nearby medical center and students from the multitude of surrounding colleges—wanted to clutch their collective pearls about anything that happened on the street this evening, they had bigger things to gripe about than a lone woman leaning against a lamppost and having a cigarette break.
She wondered how many of the residents knew that the unassuming, unmarked brownstone with the small, shabby bar beneath it was actually the home of The Club, the BDSM playground so well-known and respected in the Boston D/s community that it didn’t need any other name. If the neighbors knew, they kept the information to themselves.
It helped that Master Blake, The Club’s current owner, had invested God-only-knew how much money in getting the place secured and soundproofed. She knew for a fact that inside the building was a cacophony of music and laughter. Out here, though, even just a few feet from the entrance, all she could hear was the noise of cars passing in the distance and the whistle of the bitingly cold wind as it whipped between the buildings, making the little white Christmas lights on the trees dance and sway. And with all of his high-tech cameras monitoring the place from every angle, Blake had made Queensborough one of the safest streets in Boston.
A scuffle of sound to her right made her whirl on the spot, her heart pounding, but when she turned… nothing.
Gah! What a ninny! She would not jump like an idiot every time a dead leaf blew across the sidewalk. She was a mature, adult woman who made her own decisions, for better or worse. She answered to no one but herself.
She ground her teeth together and deliberately took another deep drag.
She knew exactly who she was afraid would catch her smoking, and the knowledge made her want to shake herself. It wasn’t the neighbors she worried about disappointing, nor her boss, nor one of her friends. It wasn’t her parents, even though they’d probably rant about how this was another sign of her moral weakness, the way they had about almost every decision she’d made since the fateful night almost seven years ago when she’d lost her virginity and gotten pregnant all in one fell swoop. It wasn’t even her own six-year-old son, Charlie, who knew enough about the dangers of smoking that she’d have to do some pretty quick verbal tap dancing to explain herself. No, she was worried that she’d disappoint the one person whose opinion she should care about the least—Alexander “Slay” Slater.
Why should she worry about disappointing someone who had made it overwhelmingly clear that he didn’t want her to be accountable to him?
She wondered sometimes whether Slay’s attitude towards her was her own fault. Since she’d started working at The Club as a bartender last spring, she’d had the most overwhelming crush on him. And God, who could blame her? He was six feet, five inches of hard, tattooed muscle, and everything from his shaved head to his piercings to his heavy motorcycle boots screamed badass. He was a restless, broody tattoo artist with eyes that said he’d seen and done terrible things and needed comfort she instinctively wanted to provide. He was a former Marine and Dungeon Master with an inherent need to lead and command. The sexual submissive inside her couldn’t help but respond. And if all of that weren’t enough? He was some kind of undercover-operations-hero who’d helped rescue not one but two of her friends from sketchy, dangerous situations in the last year, and gotten himself shot (yes, shot!) in the arm in the process. For a girl who’d grown up in a household so conservative it made 1950s sitcoms look edgy, he was the ultimate bad boy fantasy.
So, she’d followed him around like an obedient little puppy, hanging on his every command, unable to stop herself from trying to please him. You want me to work the stupid outer bar at The Club where nobody tips and nothing fun ever happens? Yes, sir, Slay, whatever you say! You want me to stay out of the playrooms during my off-time, and never participate in any of the scenes? Sure thing, no problem!
And what had that cooperative, submissive attitude gotten her? A thinner wallet than any other bartender or waitress at The Club, and a case of sexual frustration so bad that she couldn’t stand it. Meanwhile, Slay had gone off and made a play for Hillary, the girl his best friend Matteo Angelico had been trying not to fall for. And when that didn’t work out for Slay, and Matt and Hillie finally got together (because duh, anyone with eyes could see that Hillie and Matt were meant to be, no matter how hard Matt had tried to fight it), Slay had gone on a man-whoring rampage, doing scenes with every skank who expressed the slightest interest in him and making sure that Alice knew all about them. And just in case she hadn’t gotten the message that he had no interest in her whatsoever, he’d taken it one step further and had gone out of his way to avoid conversation with her since October.
Since he’d been shot.
Since she’d rushed to the hospital to sit by his bedside and had been firmly rejected.
So, screw him. The crush was officially over, and so was her desire to obey him.
Since Slay was Master Blake’s right-hand man, Alice still had to be professional and polite, of course. But over the last month or two, she’d deliberately stopped following his every order as if it were gospel. Now she worked the real bar, in the members-only part of the club (for which her wallet cheered), and she definitely participated in the scenes from time to time. Nothing serious, nothing hardcore—a good spanking, a little rope play, but enough to take the edge off.
And if she noticed that Slay’s jaw got hard and his eyes smoldered a bit when he heard about her participating in a scene, she ruthlessly squashed the instinctive desire to back down. Honestly, there were a multitude of things in this life that she was powerless to control—her ultra-religious family, the rich bitches who ran Pevrell and Brahms where Charlie went to school, the way her landlord was always around when it was time to raise the rent but never when she needed things repaired—and it was nice to feel like she still had some power over her own life.
Even if the only thing she could control was having a damn cigarette when she felt like it.
She took another deep drag and held it until her lungs were ready to burst, then slowly exhaled. It was like a Zen meditation thing, only much less healthy.
“Was it good?”
The deep, soft voice made her drop the cigarette and spin on the spot, sinking into the fighting stance she’d learned in her high school self-defense class.
Slay ran his gaze over her pose and snorted dismissively. His arms were folded across his chest in a casual way, but there was nothing relaxed about the tension in his shoulders or the tight set of his jaw.
“Damn it, Slay!” Alice said angrily. She stood up straight again, and laid a hand over her chest, where her heart was still pounding crazily. A man as big as Slay should move like a lumbering elephant, not a fucking ghost.
Slay took a step forward, placing himself between her and The Club. He deliberately put his boot over the butt of her cigarette, which still smoldered on the sidewalk, and twisted his foot.
Alice shut her eyes and sighed. Of course it was too much to hope that he’d missed the part where the cigarette was in her hand. Cue the lecture.
But no lecture was forthcoming. Slay just stood there, silently watching her. Assessing her. Judging her. Making her want to squirm.
It was freaking cold out here. She hadn’t noticed it before, but now the early-December chill seemed to seep into her bones. The temperature didn’t seem to faze Slay in the slightest—he was a veritable space heater, and her body leaned toward the palpable warmth of his before she forced herself back. She folded her own arms over her chest, mirroring his position, fighting the urge to speak under the weight of his silence.
Being immune to him was a lot easier when he was ignoring her.
Finally, she couldn’t take it any longer.
“My break’s almost over,” she said as politely as she could, unclenching her arms and making to scoot around him to head back into the building. “So, if you’ll excuse me?”
Something flared in his eyes. He nodded his head once, as if coming to a decision, and moved his big body quickly, gracefully, to block her.
So Alice stepped to his other side.
With that same fluid grace, he moved in front of her again, so close that his crossed arms nearly brushed her chest.
Alice looked up. “You have something to say?” she demanded. Just get it over with and go back to ignoring me before my body spontaneously combusts from being so close to yours, damn it.
Slay’s eyebrows rose. “I was still waiting for you to answer my question.”
Alice frowned. “What question?”
“I asked you if it was good,” Slay reminded her. “That cigarette.”
Alice expelled a breath. “It was terrific,” she said flatly. “Best five minutes of my night.”
Slay nodded thoughtfully. “I guess it would have to be.” He pursed his lips and regarded her silently for another moment, making no move to get out of her way.
God, his Mr. Inscrutable routine was annoying. And fucking sexy. And annoying.
“Fine. I’ll bite. What does that mean?” she asked, bracing her hands on her hips. The beam of the streetlight cut across his face, highlighting his eyes—golden brown, and fringed with long, thick black lashes that any supermodel would envy. On any other guy, those eyes would lock comically feminine. On Slay, they just emphasized his all-consuming masculinity—the hard angle of his jaw, the slash of his cheekbones. At the moment, she found all of that annoying, too.
Slay gave an exaggerated shrug as though the answer were obvious. “It means, you violated the terms of your employment. I would imagine it would’ve had to be a damn good cigarette to be worthwhile.”
Alice felt her jaw drop. What the hell was he talking about?
“Violated the terms of my employment?” she scoffed. “For smoking? Half the people who work here smoke.” She hated that her voice sounded so high and defensive, and forced herself to stand taller.
“Mmm,” he agreed. “But those people didn’t put non-smoker on their applications.” He leaned toward her just slightly, and her poor heart started hammering again, reminding her that he was nearly a foot taller than she was, and least a hundred pounds heavier; that he was a predator, and she was prey. “And to be honest, little Alice, I don’t give a shit whether any of them smoke.”
It was so tempting to twist his words, to take them to mean that she was special to him in some way. But Slay had made it clear back in his hospital room that this would never be more than a fantasy. His big brown eyes, groggy with sleep and pain meds, had opened, focused on her for one moment, and immediately filled with alarm and anger. “Jesus, Alice! Go home, you hear me?” he’d slurred. “I don’t want you here!” A man couldn’t be much clearer than that.
But Slay was the ultimate dominant. No matter how lukewarm his feelings were for her personally, his desire to protect was woven into every cell of his body, and he couldn’t just turn that shit off. This little intervention was him protecting her from what he thought was a bad decision, whether she wanted his interference or not. Like she was his kid. Or his sister.
Humiliation complete. She definitely liked it better when he was just ignoring her.
“Slay,” she said, pleased to hear that her voice sounded reasonable though she spoke through gritted teeth. “I appreciate that you wanna protect me, but this is not the tack to take. I know it’s not healthy, but single moms only get so many vices, okay? A cigarette here and there is not a big deal. And we both know it’s total bullshit to think that you could get me fired for having a cigarette. You’re insulting my intelligence here, big guy.”
He stared at her intently, and a slow, wide smile broke out over his face. But the smile didn’t reach his molten eyes. Her heart thumped wildly.
“You sure about that, Alice? You wanna take your chances? Be my guest.” He stepped to her side and swept his arm out, as though inviting her to lead them inside. Then he leaned down and whispered directly in her ear, “Let’s just see what happens when I tell Blake that his employee was smoking right out in front of the building, tarnishing the image of The Club.”
Alice swallowed. His hot breath on her neck was messing with her mind, making her nipples bead against the lace of her bra, making her forget her own name. It was true that most employees smoked out in the back alley, but she’d assumed that was more preference than official policy. She licked her lips nervously.
“You think people who come here to be whipped a-a-and blindfolded are gonna judge me for having a cigarette?” She tried to sound indignant, but her voice had gone weak and breathless just from having him close. God, he smelled amazing—like musk and wood smoke. And now she was thinking about blindfolds, a kink that had always been a hard limit for her, but which, in conjunction with thoughts of Slay, made her heart pound with something that felt strangely like arousal.
“I think the patrons of this club, like most people who really understand D/s, are all about safe and sane behavior.” His voice was a low rumble that she felt in her belly. “There’s nothing safe about smoking. And there’s nothing sane about you standing out here arguing that fact with me when you should be apologizing instead.”
The absurdity of his words cut through her arousal and she spun to face him. “Apologizing? To you? For what? For making a choice, just because you don’t happen to agree with it?”
Sexual frustration, sorrow, and anger were riding her, making her voice shrill. How dare he ignore her for weeks and then come after her this way!
His eyes narrowed, not too pleased with her backtalk.
“For being an idiot who doesn’t take her health or her job seriously,” he told her, his eyes hot and his expression serious as a heart attack.
“Jesus! I don’t believe you. You know what, Slay? Fuck you!” she said loudly.
The two words vibrated with warning, but she would not heed it. She’d already given too much of herself to people like him who didn’t deserve it, apologized for too many things, like this, that didn’t require apology.
“You heard me,” she said, narrowing her eyes. And just in case the people across the street hadn’t heard her the first time, she said it again, louder, jabbing her index finger into the hard wall of his chest as she enunciated each word. “FUCK. YOU.”
A hot flush climbed up Slay’s neck and suffused his cheeks, and his eyes simmered like bubbling caramel. But he stood frozen, every muscle locked down, while he stared at her and breathed in and out.
He was trying to control his temper, she realized. Why? So he could go back to ignoring her? How typical.
She made a dismissive noise and once again tried to step around him.
With one enormous hand, he reached out and grabbed her elbow, yanking her to his side, and then he led them both up the walkway and down the short flight of steps to the building entrance. He grabbed the heavy exterior door with his free hand and pulled it back so violently that it hit the wall of the building with a loud crash.
Holy shit. She hadn’t thought that was possible.
Her heart stuttered for a second before beating even faster, making her lightheaded and nauseous. She was a tiny bit scared… and just a tiny bit thrilled. I made him do that.
He led her past the security guys, Donnie and Jace, who monitored the door between the outer bar and the members-only rooms. The guys, who always greeted Alice with a friendly joke or wisecrack, looked quickly from Slay to her, and then back again. Alice couldn’t see Slay’s expression from this angle, but whatever was there wiped the smiles off their faces. Their eyes widened and they opened the double doors without comment.
The same process repeated as Slay led her through the main bar, the crowds parting before them. Gabby, who was working the bar during Alice’s break, caught her eye and gave her a questioning glance. Alice shook her head once—Nothing to see here!—and tried to smile. Of course, it was difficult to look nonchalant when an ogre was leading you along by the elbow.
He led her to the back area, where the employee rooms and Blake’s office were located, and for the first time, worry wormed its way through her mind. Shit. Could he really get her fired? It wasn’t legal—she wasn’t an idiot, and she knew that much. But Slay and Blake were tight, and Blake might do it if Slay asked. Not to mention, Blake seemed to have other things on his mind lately, and left the day-to-day running of The Club to Slay more often than not. And if they did fire her, she wasn’t likely to sue The Club to get her job back, partly because she couldn’t afford an attorney and partly because she needed to avoid association with The Club for Charlie’s and her parents’ sake.
Maybe she could get more hours at Cara, the Italian restaurant where she worked her second job. But she wasn’t sure how long that job would even extend beyond the holidays.
“Slay, I…” she began. She was ready to apologize even though she wasn’t sorry. God knew she had plenty of practice at that.
But Slay didn’t lead her to Blake’s office. In fact, he dragged her past it, heading to the new elevator that had been installed at the back of the building that led to the basement stock rooms and upstairs, to the private play rooms. He stretched out one long, callused finger and jabbed the Up button.
What the heck?
She wrenched her elbow away from him, or tried to. The man was a brick wall and his grip, while not painful, was as unbreakable as an iron shackle. But the second he felt her resistance, he spun her around, her back to the wall beside the elevator, and his big body moved in front of her, caging her in.
“Where are you taking me?” she demanded, staring up at him. She would not notice the heat and strength of him, the way his arms bracketed her so easily, the intense determination in his beautiful eyes. Damn it, why were his eyes so beautiful?
“Upstairs,” he told her. “I’m going to take care of you.”
She blinked. Then she blinked again. He hadn’t said “take care of you” in a tender way. There was no implied love, no unspoken “baby” at the end of that sentence. Instead, he was imminently practical, a man with a job to do. There was a problem, and he was going to “take care” of it. If Slay had been a mobster, she’d have worried she was being sent to sleep with the fishes. If he were a doctor, he’d be doing surgery. But no, Slay was a dominant, so that meant he’d…
Oh, wait a minute. Hold the fucking phone.
“No way. N-no way,” she stuttered, just as the elevator dinged and the doors opened.
He grabbed her elbow, hauled her inside the tiny elevator, and jabbed the button. Slay let go of her just before the doors slid shut.
They stared at one another across the dimly lit space, both breathing heavily.
He was going to spank her right now. Unless she said “no” clearly and forcefully, he would take her into a private room and spank her ass with those giant, rough hands. She could see the intent written on his face, plain as day, and it was like a fantasy come to life… except that in her fantasy, he’d be doing it because he wanted to, because he wanted her, not because he felt some weird protective obligation.
Did his motives really matter, though? In a way, it would be no different than participating in a scene with some nameless guy she’d never talk to again. She was wound tighter than a spring, and her body craved the release she could find at his hands.
But then what? Back to business as usual, being co-workers? Could he do that? Could she?
Alice was breathing hard, swallowing convulsively, and she was mortified to find that her knees were weak. Slay… well, Slay was a wall, showing all the emotion of concrete, except for his eyes, which lit with challenge.
You wanted this, Alice. So take it.
She threw her head back and met his gaze defiantly, saying nothing.
The elevator dinged again, and the doors slid open smoothly. Alice was prepared for him to take her elbow again, but he didn’t. Instead, he cocked his head to the side, waiting for her to move in front of him.
Another challenge? Right. Nothing would happen now without her consent.
She stepped out into the hallway.
He did take her elbow again, then, gently leading her down the hall and pulling his master key from his pocket to unlock the door. She took a deep breath and took a step forward.
Inside, a single weak lamp glowed in the corner, illuminating the shape of the room—the bed, a small table, a spanking bench, the door that led to a small private bathroom. The room was bare but for the furniture, a blank canvas for a dom’s imagination. Most of the doms who rented the rooms did so in advance and for a specific purpose, to set up a specific scene. Most brought their own props and implements, though Blake would supply larger equipment on request. It was obvious that the room hadn’t been used recently… and that no one had planned to use it tonight. The air inside was chilly and stale, and Alice shivered, wishing she could feel Slay’s body heat again.
Was she going to do this? Let him spank her? It was what she’d wanted for months, wasn’t it? Should she tell him her hard limits? That she didn’t like restraints, she wasn’t into any hardcore kink like breath play, and for some reason, she’d never been able to tolerate sensory deprivation, like blindfolds?
Slay moved in behind her and the door shut behind him with a soft click. Without saying a word, he reached for the thermostat on the wall and bumped the temperature up several degrees.
He’d seen her shiver and he was keeping her safe and comfortable. But without touching her, naturally. Keeping his distance.
And that wasn’t what she wanted at all.
Alice sighed, and felt her shoulders slump, at once tired and defeated. “Slay, I can’t do this.”
“Face the wall and spread your legs.”
Alice turned to find him leaning back against the door, his arms folded over his chest, his face impassive and his eyes… burning.
She shook her head quickly. “No. This isn’t what I want.”
Before she had time to think, he was behind her, turning her. One strong forearm wrapped around her stomach, holding her against him, while the other braced them against the wall. He tilted her head to the side with his chin and whispered in her ear.
“Bullshit, baby. You wanted this. You wanted exactly this. That’s why you’ve defied me for the past few months, working the main bar, wearing this skimpy leather skirt. And that’s why you went outside tonight. You knew every inch of this building is covered by security cameras. You knew I’d see you, that I’d come for you, that I’d spank you. You know that you need this from me.”
Oh, God. Where was the instant denial that should be coming to her lips? Where was the outrage? She couldn’t summon any. Maybe she had known.
“Spread your legs for me, Alice,” he commanded softly. “Take your punishment.”
As though her muscles obeyed his command without consulting her brain, her feet moved apart, and when he placed his hand against the small of her back and pushed gently, she arched forward.
“That’s my girl,” he approved, and Alice felt a brief flare of pleasure at his words. Then Slay grasped her hips and pulled her ass back against him, and her thoughts completely stuttered to a halt.
Oh my God. Pressed against her was a rock-hard erection that, like everything about Slay, was of mammoth proportion. And she knew in that instant that he wasn’t simply a little turned on by their positions, and he wasn’t just understandably excited by the impending spanking, like any dom might be. No, he was violently, rampantly aroused in a way that said he’d been suffering this way for more than a minute or two. He was hard as stone, for her. This wasn’t just about his instinctive need to protect her from herself, and he definitely wasn’t thinking of her as a sister.
And that changed everything.
From one second to the next, she surrendered completely. And she knew he felt it when he stepped back, no longer fighting her or even commanding her, but arranging her pliant limbs into the proper position, bending her at just the right angle.
She closed her eyes and listened to his harsh breathing, concentrated on the tingles of sensation she felt when his fingers brushed against her skin. She was so turned on that her pussy throbbed with it. She needed his hands on her right that second.
He knelt behind her, his hands guiding her high-heeled feet just a few inches further apart, and then he stopped. His hands dragged up the insides of her bare legs, from her ankles up her smooth calves to her knees, and then further, along the backs of her thighs to the hem of her short black leather skirt, now pulled taut against her spread legs. He stood up, hooked his fingers under the hem and lifted it, centimeter by centimeter, exposing the swell of her ass, shielded only by the tiniest scrap of black lace, to his eyes.
He was going to punish her, and she was going to let him.
It was exquisite torture waiting for that first slap to land, imagining his eyes on her flesh, wondering what he thought and whether he could possibly be as turned on as she was.
And then his broad, hot palm hit her cool flesh, and she could think of nothing but that.
Holy shit, but it hurt.
Maybe it was because her emotions were running high, or maybe because she hadn’t had a good session in weeks, but the pain was startling in its intensity. In the two years she’d been into the club scene, out of the dozen or more guys who had spanked her ass in that time, she’d never felt the pain come on so swiftly and powerfully.
“You messed up tonight, little girl,” he told her. She gritted her teeth as he blistered her backside with a half-dozen stinging swats that echoed around the nearly empty room.
Alice frowned. What had he said? The pain made it hard to focus.
“Uh. Yes. Yes, sir. Sorry.” She recited her expected line dutifully.
But from behind her, she heard Slay mutter “Jesus,” clearly not appeased by her rote recitation. He leaned over and whispered hotly into her ear, “When I'm punishing you, you call me Daddy. Understood?”
“What?” she whispered. Daddy? Her brain instantly rejected the idea, even as her belly flipped and her thighs clenched.
She’d heard of daddy doms in the past, had known a couple of girls who got off on playing the babygirl, but had never found it remotely appealing… until now. Until Slay, who was obviously not playing around.
He spanked her lower this time, delivering a stinging slap to the area just above her thighs. “You heard me, Alice. Say yes, Daddy.”
“Ow!” she complained. “Calm down!” She needed a minute to remember all the reasons why she couldn’t say it, shouldn’t say it, no matter how tempting it was.
“Try. One. More. Time,” he said, the sound of his hand on her ass punctuating each word. His voice was harsher now, impatient with her stalling tactics. “Yes, Daddy.”
Could she? Another searing swat had her nearly blubbering, but when she spoke, it wasn’t the pain talking, but something deeper. A longing inside her.
She closed her eyes as his hand stilled. His voice was deeper, but softer, as he spoke. “That’s right, baby,” he told her. His spanking hand paused, kneading her backside, while the other wrapped around under her arm to grip her chin and turn her gaze toward his. “Daddy. Not some random asshole you’ve picked up downstairs. Not some piece of shit who’s spanking your ass just because he gets off on the experience and you wanna scratch an itch. But an honest-to-God dominant who expects you to take your safety seriously. Things are changing, baby. I’ve bided my time, but I’m not waiting any longer. After tonight, you belong to me. Do you understand your daddy?”
She didn’t understand a damn thing, but she nodded as much as she could with his hand holding her chin.
Slay sighed and released his grip. “You don’t. But you will, baby. You will.”
He placed one broad palm against the small of her back, keeping her arched so that her ass was thrust out, while the other one came down quick and hard on the top of her thighs.
“Slay… Daddy!” she shouted, wrenching one hand off the wall and moving it to shield herself. “You’re doing it wrong! That’s too hard.”
He growled in annoyance and pinned her wrist to her lower back.
“Of course it’s hard. I’m not spanking you for kicks, Alice. It’s supposed to hurt. It’s supposed to make you think the next time you have the urge to light up a cigarette or jeopardize your safety in some other stupid, bratty way, ‘Am I really ready to break the rules? Do I really wanna feel that pain again? Do I really wanna make my daddy angry?’ ”
A quiver of fear and longing turned her stomach. This wasn’t what she’d expected! His palm fell again and again, until her flesh was hot and throbbing and her eyes were filled with tears.
“You messed up today, Alice,” he said again, releasing her wrist, and bringing both of his hands down to massage her sore bottom.
Alice took a deep shuddering breath. “Yes, Daddy,” she sobbed.
Her voice was husky and soft in the sudden stillness of the room, and it seemed to make his own voice deepen in response.
“Explain to me what you did that was wrong.” His tone was as hard and unyielding as his palm.
“I-I went outside and smoked a cigarette,” she admitted. “It was a dumb thing to do.”
“Dumb, yeah. Because you have friends who love you, a kid who adores you, and you need to do everything you can to keep yourself healthy,” he told her. “Everyone has vices, baby. But you smoke that shit because you’re having one bad day, because something inside you is craving attention, and you’re playing Russian roulette, yeah? Not just with your life, but your kid’s future.”
She inhaled sharply. God, when he said it like that… It was pretty fucking selfish. “You’re right,” she said, her shoulders sagging slightly. “I’m sorry.” And this time it wasn’t a line. She truly meant it.
Slay nodded against her shoulder, and his massaging hands turned teasing, rubbing her in wider and wider circles, getting closer to her pussy and then finally dipping beneath the edge of her thong.
Alice sucked in a breath.
So did Slay. “Jesus… All this for me, Allie-girl?” he breathed, moving his fingers through the wetness he found there.
Allie-girl. Something about that simple nickname made her heart stutter. No one had ever given her a nickname before. She’d always been Alice, sweet and wholesome and dependable. But Allie-girl… She sounded fun and lighthearted. Cared for. Loved.
And then Alice stopped thinking because his fingers started moving with more deliberation, stroking up and down her slit in an almost teasing way, strumming around her clit without ever quite touching. She arched her back, pushing her fingers against his hand.
“Yeah, like that, baby doll,” Slay encouraged. “Fuck, yes. Just like that. Take what you need from Daddy.”
With a light, delicate touch that nearly made her lose her mind, he stroked her while she quivered and writhed, wordlessly begging him for more. She couldn’t believe how hearing him call himself Daddy was amping her up. The pleasure built and built until it became almost painful. She pushed herself to her tiptoes, trying to get more from him, desperate to come. And when she was sure she couldn’t take it even one second longer, he moved his finger in a single, firm flick and she exploded, her entire body pulsing with the force of her orgasm.
She had never come so hard in her life, and he’d barely touched her.
But even as she panted and struggled to bring her brain back online, she felt his breath on the back of her neck and knew she needed more from him, more connection, more pleasure, more, more, more.
“Slay, please,” she begged, arching and writhing. This man stole her wits, stole her words.
“You want Daddy’s fingers?” he taunted, plunging two fingers inside her. “Hmmm?”
“Nooo! Sl—Daddy…” She was panting. God, it felt amazing. But still, she needed more.
“Say it,” he demanded roughly, his own voice tight with need. “Tell me what you want. Tell me who you want.”
“I want you. Please, Daddy!”
She felt his fingers disappear and heard him release his zipper with a harsh groan that made her heart speed impossibly faster. She dimly heard the rustle of his jeans as they dropped to his ankles, the crinkle of the condom wrapper as he tore it open, but she couldn’t concentrate on any of it.
“Hurry,” she begged.
And just a second later, he was lined up against her, pulling her thong to one side, ready to push inside her.
Just like she had earlier, right before he’d spanked her, she felt a burst of anticipation so keen it was nearly torture. But then it was replaced by a sensation of overwhelming rightness. Life would be forever divided into all the moments before this, and then all the moments after, and it was always meant to be so.
And then Slay was pushing himself into her fully and she didn’t think anymore.
Oh dear God.
In practically every romance novel she’d ever snuck home from the library as a kid, the innocent virginal heroine looked down at the hero’s equipment with wide eyes and said something stupid like, “It’s so big! I don’t think it’ll fit.” Even as an inexperienced teenager, Alice had rolled her eyes because duh, biology! It was kinda made to fit. And as an experienced adult, she’d figured it was one more way that romance novels messed with a girl’s expectations.
But apparently she hadn’t been hanging out with the right guys, because right now fitting was actually kind of a concern. An excellent, excellent concern. The best problem she’d ever had.
“Shit,” Slay said. “Fuck. Baby, you’re so tight.” His voice was harsh, almost angry, but he reached his hand around to stroke her clit again, making her relax, helping her to take him more easily.
The best response Alice could muster was, “Ungh.”
“That’s it. That’s it, my girl. Daddy’s good girl” he whispered.
Then she was arching, bending toward the wall, supporting herself with both forearms while Slay curled around her. While one of his hands was stroking her, the other was holding her hip as he moved against her, over and over and over again. Every stroke brought his pelvis against her, causing an answering ache in her sore bottom. He whispered filth and nonsense in her ear.
“My Alice is so fucking sweet.”
“Take it, Allie-girl. Take all of me. That’s it. Fuck, yeah, that’s it.”
“I pictured us just like this, how your pussy would milk my cock while your sweet mouth called me Daddy.”
It was all too much.
Alice didn’t come, she splintered. Fractured. Her vision went black, her ears stopped hearing, her body went completely still.
And when she came back to herself, minutes or hours or days later, her first thought was Holy shit. The novels were right about that, too.
Slay was breathing, panting in her ear. He’d paused, while she’d been turned inside out, and was stroking her back, waiting, still so, so hard inside her.
She arched back against him, encouraging him to move again, wanting him to feel the same thing she’d just felt.
He didn’t need any more encouragement. His hips drew back and then thrust forward in a way that had nothing to do with practiced technique, but was primal and rough and perfect. He splayed his own massive hand next to hers on the wall, bracing himself, bracing them both. Within seconds, he was roaring in her ear, and she could feel him pulsing inside her, leaning his weight against her for a moment, just a moment, and trusting her to take it. So she did.
Then he was standing, dealing with the condom, pulling up his jeans, turning her around to face him, and sliding her skirt back into place.
She’d just had the most mind-blowing orgasm, and the single greatest moment of sexual connection ever... and she hadn’t removed a single piece of her clothing.
Before she could even recover her breath, he was pulling her to him and lifting her chin with one finger, pressing a soft, sweet kiss to the corner of her mouth.
“Listen to me, Allie-girl. If you didn’t get it when you walked in the room, you’d better get it now. Things have changed between us.” His voice was deep and soft and oh-so-sure. “You follow my rules now. They’re simple, but they are very, very serious. No risky behavior. No breaking Club rules. No lying or hiding shit from me. You do any of those things, I’ll bare your ass again and show you what a real spanking feels like. Got it?”
“A real spanking?” she asked, feeling her eyes widen.
“Yeah, babe. This was a warm up,” he scoffed. “Now tell me you get what I’m saying.”
Once again, she wasn’t sure she got it at all. But she nodded anyway. No risky behavior? Yeah. Fine.
He smirked and shook his head, and once again he replied, “You don’t. But you will.”
“You weren’t even talking to me yesterday,” she muttered inanely.
“Mmm,” he agreed, stroking a finger over her cheekbone. “Thought that was the best thing for both of us, me keeping an eye on you from a distance. Thought you’d be safer that way. But now I realize you need me to keep a closer eye on you.”
At his words, her brain shifted back into gear with a nearly audible click, and launched her from her sated stupor into a full-scale freak out. Someone to keep an eye on her? Like a bodyguard? Like a babysitter? Who just also happened to have sex with her? Yeah, that wouldn’t be weird or confusing at all.
And just how far did he think his power over her extended? It was fine for them to play a scene here or there—hell, she’d welcome it. Thanks to the spanking and the mind-blowing orgasm he’d given her, all the tension she’d been carrying for days had melted from her bones and she felt invigorated.
But beyond The Club, she didn’t play the part of a submissive. She couldn’t afford to. She had a family, a son, she had to be strong for, and an image to uphold for their sakes. She could imagine what the rich PTA bitches at Charlie’s school would say if they knew she worked at The Club, let alone that she liked to play.
No, she needed to do what she should have done before she walked into this room—set some ground rules and some hard limits.
“I don’t need a keeper, Slay,” she protested, annoyed that her voice was still breathless, damn it.
Inside his pocket, his phone chirped.
“Babe, you still smell like cigarette smoke,” he said wryly, as though this were all the explanation necessary.
He fished the phone from his pocket, looked at the display, and frowned. “Shit. They need me on the first floor. Come on, I’ll walk you back to the bar.”
Alice shook her head. “I need a minute,” she said, gesturing towards the little bathroom. “Gotta clean up.”
Translation: Gotta process whatever the hell just happened.
She’d wanted Slay. And she could admit that she’d maybe, maybe been unconsciously trying to get him to punish her tonight by acting out. In the moment, the daddy-thing had been hot. Kinky, yes, but in a way that felt natural and right.
Now though, it all seemed off. The weight of her child, her parents, her jobs, her life, settled back on her shoulders, reminding her that she didn’t have time to play babygirl to a six-five tattooed bad boy. She had too many adult responsibilities to take care of.
Slay watched her face intently. Then his phone chirped again and he sighed.
He leaned forward and pressed a kiss to her forehead.
“Don’t overthink this, Allie-girl,” he told her gruffly. And then before she could protest, he shook his head and added, “I know you will, because you obsess about shit until down is up and right is left. But never mind. Daddy will sort you out.”
Then with a wink—yes, Alex Slater could apparently wink—he turned and left the room, leaving Alice with wide eyes, a racing heart, and the feeling that, for a man so determined to keep her safe, Slay sure knew how to scare the crap out of her.