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Clarissa Alexander has fought all her life to break out of the mold her parents set for her. She wants to be the mistress of her own life, doing what, and who she wants. She’d rather show off her new tats, and find a good one-night stand than marry the boring man her parents picked out for her.
But then she meets Maddox Perry, casino owner and gorgeous Dom. At first she thinks playing with Maddox will provide a few days of fun. But when she begins to enjoy his ropes and toys she finds out that sometimes giving up control can bring about a great amount of pleasure.
Does Clarissa finally get to live her life her way? Is Maddox strong enough to be the man for her?
Publisher's note: This book contains elements of BDSM, spanking of adult women and sexual scenes. If any of these themes bother you, please do not purchase this book.
“That dress is hardly appropriate for this event, Clarissa. Perhaps you should take a moment and go home to change.”
Clarissa Alexander ran her hands down her sides. The bright yellow evening dress was soft to the touch. It was tight, but the salesperson convinced her it was perfect for her. Low cut to show off her boobs, and high cut to display her long legs. She’d picked this out specifically for this event, with the idea of rattling her mother’s chain. She was happy to see it had worked like a charm.
Clarissa wasn’t the size 2 her mother wanted her daughters to be. Even after having children, her sisters were only a size 4. Clarissa was proud of her size 18 body, which was curvy and never failed to attract male attention.
“Why, Mother? Because it shows off my luscious hips and bodacious boobs? Or because you can see one of my tats?”
“Must you be so crude?” Her mother glanced around, and Clarissa knew she was looking to see if anyone was close enough to overhear them. “That dress is much too tight and much too low cut.”
“Of course, how could I be so silly? We’re the Alexanders,” Clarissa wrinkled her nose, then lifted her chin, “we have an image to protect, don’t we?”
“Yes, we do. My daughter looking like a common streetwalker at one of the biggest charity events of the year is hardly the image we want to project.”
Clarissa snorted out a laugh. “On the contrary, Mother, a common streetwalker could never afford this dress. Besides, maybe some of the old codgers here will put a few more zeros on their checks if I let them see a little more cleavage.”
Her mother closed her eyes for a few brief seconds, then signaled for a waiter, who appeared with a tray of champagne. Each of the ladies took a glass before the server disappeared. She watched her mother take a sip, then inhale ever so slightly, a move Clarissa knew was meant to help Lydia Alexander get her emotions under control.
“Henry is here tonight.”
“Bully for him.” Clarissa tipped her glass, taking half the contents in one swallow.
“Your father is inviting him to our August outing in the Hamptons. He’ll have the room next to yours.”
“Oh, goody. Maybe we can treat it like an old-fashioned Victorian house party, and he can come and hump me in the middle of the night.” Clarissa snapped her fingers. “Oh wait, that won’t work, because I won’t be there.”
“Oh, yes you will.” The steel in her mother’s voice surprised Clarissa. “Your father has gone to great lengths to build you up to this young man. He’s willing to overlook your eccentricities and date you with an eye to marriage. His family is well-heeled and he would be a perfect match. You’re almost thirty, Clarissa, and it’s time you lived up to your responsibilities to this family; it’s time you married and started having children.”
“Well, bully for me then,” Clarissa said before draining the rest of her glass. “Tell me, did Father tell him to look past the fact I’m fat or that I’m wild? Maybe he wants to check my teeth before he purchases me. Or wait, isn’t Father purchasing him for me? Maybe I should check his teeth.”
Her mother pasted a smile on her face and gave a small wave to a woman across the room. “Go home, Clarissa. Change your dress, and don’t come back until you’re wearing something more appropriate. I won’t have you embarrassing your father at this event as you’ve done at so many in the past.”
Lydia left without saying another word, and Clarissa exchanged her empty glass for a full one, gazing around the room to see if there was anyone who could provide a spark of excitement. It certainly wouldn’t be Henry Isaacs. He was good-looking enough, she supposed, but boring as the day was long.
She imagined herself sitting across the breakfast table from him, his nose buried in the paper as she slathered a bagel with cream cheese. She would eat, and he would read, and they would speak only enough to ask someone to pass the sugar or the marmalade. They could be just like her parents: seen together just enough to keep up appearances before she went on a huge spending spree, and he went to work, then went to visit his mistress.
“No, thank you,” she whispered to herself as she continued to scan the crowd. A slight wave caught her eye. Anna. Thank the heavens. Clarissa hurried across the room, smiling and exchanging greetings with people she knew.
“Nice dress, Rissa,” Anna said, bussing her cheek. “It’s very you.”
“Thank you. My mother hates it.”
“That’s why you bought it, right?”
Anna flashed a grin at her. “You are so bad. Give the woman a break. She just wants grandchildren.”
“No, not just any grandchildren, well-heeled grandchildren. Besides, both my sisters are popping out puppies. Why can’t I enjoy myself before they force me to marry Henry Isaacs?”
Anna gave her a sympathetic look. “He’s not so bad, really. Nice-looking and lots of money. I hear he has an apartment in London. You could spend time there. I know you like England.”
“Thanks for planning my marriage for me, or should I say my marriage avoidance. I want to find someone who loves me for me, just like you did with Loren. I bet you guys had sex before you came here tonight.”
“I went down on him in the limo. He likes to leave the divider down so the driver can listen to me suck him off.” Anna licked her lips. “And he was delicious, down to the last drop.”
Clarissa imagined Anna, her head in her husband’s lap while his hands were buried in her hair, urging her to quicken her pace. Clarissa felt her nipples tighten at the image. Her nipple rings pressed against the tight bodice of her dress, making her sensitive buds ache with need. Damn, but she needed sex. Good sex. She wanted someone like Loren was with Anna, someone who loved her for herself and not for her copious amounts of money. She hadn’t had sex in months. Almost seven to be exact, not since she’d broken up with Serge, the Soho artist she’d dated just to piss her parents off. In the end, he, too, was boring. Plus, he’d started to ask questions about how much money her father actually had.
At least he wasn’t like the others, asking on the first date about her family’s fortune. Serge had waited a month before broaching the subject of money. And he’d been subtle about it, asking if he could “paint” one of her family’s many houses, then asking exactly where those houses were. Clarissa had dumped him a month later.
Why couldn’t she be like her friend? Anna had found the perfect man, someone who had money of his own and loved her. Their other friends, though, were all married to someone who “fit the bill.” They would end up like her mother, alone most of the time with nothing more to do than visit stores and spend money.
Clarissa was determined that wouldn’t be her. She had two older sisters who’d followed the same path and were now miserable. They were raising their children alone, while their husbands, who didn’t really love them enough to marry but did it to increase their fortunes, lived their own lives.
“I’m jealous,” she said softly, taking a small sip of champagne.
“Sorry,” Anna whispered. “Maybe Henry won’t be so bad. Give him a chance.”
“And condemn myself to a lifelong sentence of the missionary position? Not a chance. There’s no way he’d ever allow me to be on top. Ever. And I’d be surprised if he’d let me suck his cock.” She scanned the room, depression setting in. Maybe she should just go home. It would make her parents happy, and she had no desire to talk to Henry. If she stayed, she’d be forced to interact with him. She examined every man; her gaze ran across, then back, to a man standing near Loren.
Her always firm nipples tightened. Damn, where did he come from? Tall and muscular with dark blond hair, he wasn’t classically handsome. He had a strong face that gave him an air of danger, a sense that he could handle just about anything that was put in front of him.
She imagined he had blue eyes that could see straight through to her soul. The tuxedo encased his broad shoulders, and when he lifted a fat, unlit cigar to his mouth, she was treated to the sight of a strong, large hand. Her pussy twitched as she imagined his thick fingers pulling on her clit ring.
Beside her, Anna was going on about how Henry might turn out to surprise her.
“I mean really, Rissa, maybe you should…”
Clarissa put her hand on her friend’s arm to stop her talking. “Who is that?” She used her champagne glass to indicate the man with Loren.
“I have no idea. He’s handsome, though, in a rugged way.”
“Let’s go.” Clarissa grasped her friend’s arm, and they started moving through the crowd. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw her father, standing next to Henry. Their heads were bent together, and she could imagine the conversation about how if Henry and Clarissa were married, he could control what she wore to events like this. She would be damned if she would let anyone, especially Henry, control her.
“Hi, darling,” Clarissa said, scooting up next to Loren and putting her arm around him. “You never call me anymore.”
“You charged me with stalking, remember?” Loren gave her a wounded look. “You’re violating the protection order right now.”
“Oh, that’s right. I remember now. I need someone to protect me from you.” She moved to the stranger, threaded her arm through the crook of his elbow. His body was hard and thick, and a zing shot through her, centering in her clit. “Will you defend me?”
“Of course,” he replied, a grin tipping up the side of his mouth. “I’ll be your knight in shining armor.”
“Thank heavens.” Clarissa gripped the stem of her glass between her thumb and forefinger. She used her free fingers to fan her face. “He’s such a meanie sometimes.”
“Quit talking about my husband that way, you little witch.” Anna wrapped her arms around Loren’s waist. “He’s never a meanie.”
They kissed softly; then Loren laughed. “Maddox Perry, may I present my wife, Anna, and her best, if not craziest, friend, Clarissa Alexander. Ladies, this is Maddox Perry. He owns the Moonglow Casino in Las Vegas and is here visiting with the Tremonts.”
“Oh, I love to gamble,” Clarissa said, tightening her grip just enough so that her breast pressed against his arm. He pushed back ever so gently. Nice signal, thank you. “It’s so much fun.”
“It can be,” Maddox replied. “If you’re playing for the right stakes.”
His rich voice sent shivers up her spine. Coupled with the fact that he hadn’t pulled away from her, and she thought she just might have found herself a bed partner for the night.
“Rissa loves roulette,” Anna said with a laugh. “In Monte Carlo she nearly lost every cent we had on us.”
“I did not,” Clarissa replied. “It was just the money we’d brought from the room that I lost.”
“And I kept you from going to get more, if I remember right.”
Clarissa pouted. “She’s a meanie too.”
“I’m beginning to see a trend here,” Maddox replied. “Is everyone mean to you?”
“Mostly. It’s just not fair.”
“Oh, poor thing. Perhaps you do need a protector.” He brought the cigar up to his mouth. “Stick with me for the evening, and I’ll make sure you come through unscathed.”
Next to them, Loren whispered something to Anna, then leaned forward. “Excuse us for a moment.” He led his wife away, and Clarissa batted her eyelashes at Maddox.
“That Loren is so subtle.”
“Very.” Maddox took the cigar from his mouth. “He’s trying to be nice and polite, give us a moment alone.”
“He’s just happy because he got a blowjob on the way here.”
“Lucky him.” He turned so they were standing face-to-face, and Clarissa mourned the loss of his warm body. “I wish I could say the same thing.”
The smoldering look he gave her made her fingers tingle. “Well, you know the old saying, better late than never.”
“So true.” The corner of his mouth twitched, and he offered her his arm. “Shall we?”
“By all means.” She let him lead her across the room. She’d thought he’d go for the corner, where she knew there were smaller rooms that were probably not in use tonight. Of course, he had no idea they were there, so she pressed against him and pointed.
“Over there would be private.”
“For what?” He kept steering her toward one of the bars.
“For a, um, you know.”
He stopped and placed his lips near her ear. “For you to give me a blowjob?”
When her breath came back into her lungs, she whispered, “Yes.”
“Maybe later.” They stepped up to the bar, and Clarissa felt a keen sense of disappointment. She’d hoped to have nice, hard, nasty sex with him, right here and now.
“I’d like a scotch, neat, and the lady will have a butter baby.”
“A very sweet drink, but not one that will get me looped if you’re trying to get me drunk and take advantage of me.” She took the offered concoction of butterscotch schnapps and Irish cream and took a sip. “Very good.”
She watched him store the cigar in his pocket, then grasp his drink in one hand. He took her hand in the other and walked toward a far wall where booths were set up. This part of the room was dark, lit only by candles on each table. Most of the tables were empty, and he claimed the last one in the line. When she sat down, he sat down right next to her, their legs pressed together.
“It’s so nice to meet a naughty girl like yourself.”
She took a drink, then licked the rim of the glass, gazing at him as she did. His eyes narrowed in obvious desire, and she licked her lips. “If you thought it was nice to meet me, I’d be using my tongue on you instead of on this glass. If we were someplace more private, I would be sucking your cock right now.”
“You are wicked. I like that, very much. Being eager can be good, but I’d like to savor the moment, let it build for both of us.” He leaned closer, kissed her cheek. “Is your clit pierced, as your nipples are?”
“Would you like to see?” She inched up the dress, eager for him to touch her. Feel her.
He grasped her hand to stop her movement. “Not yet. I’d ask you to give me your panties, but something tells me you’re not wearing any. Am I right?”
“You’re very astute.” Clarissa tried to wiggle out of his grasp, but he held her tight. “If I were wearing any, they’d be yours.”
“I have no doubt about that. Tell me a little about yourself, Clarissa.”
She took a drink and inclined her head. “What’s to know? I’m Clay Alexander’s daughter. The bad seed. I’m sure you’ve read about me.”
“A few words, maybe. The tabloids love your exploits.”
“They can’t wait to see what I’m going to do next.” She swirled her finger in her glass, lifted it out. Her tongue captured the drop of liquid hanging from the edge before she sucked her finger into her mouth. “Would you like me to trail liquid across your cock, lick it off?”
“Are you trying to shock me?”
“Is it working?”
“No.” His hand moved to her thigh, and she murmured in appreciation. He trailed it up her skirt, tracing the elastic of her thigh-high stocking. “You look very beautiful. I love a woman who’s not afraid to show off her beauty.”
“Right.” She spread her legs to allow him access, but he didn’t take the invitation, leaving his hand where it was. “My mother says I look like a harlot.”
“You look like a woman who’s not afraid to be a woman. I like that. And it’s obvious you enjoy sex.”
“Yes, very much.”
She flashed him what she hoped was a coquettish look, taken aback by the look of pure lust he gave her. If he wanted her so much, why were they just sitting here? “Are you submissive?”
That question made her eyes widen. She laughed nervously and shifted in her seat. “No. Sorry.”
He pressed his lips to her ear, making her close her eyes in pleasure as his warm breath wafted over her. “With me you will be. Very submissive.”
Her denial caught in her throat, refused to pass through her mouth. She wanted to tell him she’d never be submissive, never allow herself to be subservient to any man. She knew that wasn’t true. She’d experimented with light bondage with a lover a few years back and had enjoyed it.
It had been just light bondage, though. Somehow she knew Maddox wasn’t talking about just tying her hands to a headboard.
“I’m sorry I’m not the meek little thing you obviously want.” His hand was still on her thigh, the warmth driving through her. His words might trouble her, but his touch made her hot and very wet.
“I’m not looking for a ‘meek little thing.’ I’m looking for a woman who will give over power to me to bring us both extreme pleasure.”
Clarissa giggled, knowing it made her sound foolish but not being able to stop it. She was too nervous to talk, and truthfully she wasn’t sure how to form words to say what she felt at this moment. What could it hurt, really? He was just in town for a few days, and maybe it might be interesting to see what submission entailed, exactly. And if it meant sex, good sex, then she was all for it.
“While you’re thinking, let me ask you something, Clarissa. Do you usually orgasm with your lovers, or do they leave you hanging, having to take matters into your own hands?”
Good heavens above, was she that transparent? How could he know that? She hadn’t even told Anna that, keeping her lack of orgasms without batteries to herself.
“I’m not really sure what to say.” Her giggle was gone, replaced by nerves that grasped every fiber of her being.
“Let’s not say anything, then. Let’s test your submission. Would you like that?”
Her heart raced, and her mouth went dry. “What exactly are you proposing?”
“It’s easy, isn’t it, when you’re in charge of sex? The idea of giving a man you’ve just met a blowjob didn’t faze you at all, really. It fascinated you. The minute I asked for something more, you became nervous, frightened to give over.”
“Yes.” What the hell was happening here? She’d just wanted to suck his cock, not discuss feelings and exchanges of power. “Tell me what you’re proposing.”
“I’m saying that for the next hour you’re mine, to do with as I like. Agreed?”
“Here? In the main room? We can go to my apartment or find an empty room. Or we could,” she stopped talking when he held up one finger and shook his head.
“No questions, no plans or suggestions given by you. I am in charge for one hour. Agreed?” He put an emphasis on the last word that made her stomach flip-flop.
She should say no, tell him there was no way. Truthfully, this was the most exciting thing anyone had ever suggested, and she was fascinated.
“Yes.” The word slipped out, and there was no way to bring it back. She lifted her gaze to his, noticing for the first time how truly blue his eyes were, almost like the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean.
“Good. Now spread your legs and relax. This will bring us both great pleasure.”