Excerpt for Claimed by Two Masters (BDSM Connections, Book 3) by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

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Romance Unbound Publishing


Presents


Claimed by Two Masters

BDSM Connections – Book Three



Claire Thompson





Edited by

Donna Fisk

Jae Ashley





Cover Art by Jay Aheer

Fine Line Edit by Kathy Kozakewich

Consulting Editor – Jamie D Rose



Ebook ISBN 978-1937337858

Copyright 2017 Claire Thompson

Copyright - Cover art - Simply Defined Art

All Rights Reserved


Chapter 1





“Hey, Steve, check out that girl over there. I haven’t seen her around before, have you?”

Steve Hartman turned to see whom Zach Wilder, his best friend and scene partner, was referring to. They had just arrived at Hardcore, Portland’s best underground BDSM club, after too long a hiatus. From his vantage point, he could see the girl in profile as she leaned forward on the long sofa set against the wall, her elbows resting on her knees, her chin cupped in her hands. In her mid to late twenties, she wore a low-cut dress that showed some very alluring cleavage.

She was pretty, with large eyes and a small, upturned nose. Her hair was pulled back from her face, and from what Steve could see in the dim light of the BDSM basement club, it appeared to be red.

Her expression was a curious mixture of both horror and longing as she stared at the whipping scene occurring in front of her. Following her avid gaze, Steve recognized Harry and Maryanne, a longtime couple in the scene who were regulars at Hardcore.

That particular scene station contained a St. Andrew's cross set on a raised dais, so it was possible to see the action over the heads of the gathered crowd that stood in a semicircle around the pair. Maryanne, naked and bound to the cross, let out a sudden howl of pain.

Steve flicked his gaze back to the girl, who had brought her hands to her mouth, her eyes wide with what seemed to be a kind of thrilled terror.

After a moment, she sat back, her body relaxing, her hands falling away from her face. Her tongue appeared on her lower lip, a dreamy expression now moving over her features.

Looking back to the scene, Steve saw that Harry had dropped his whip. He was stroking Maryanne’s hair, his mouth close to her ear.

His eyes returning to the girl on the couch, Steve said, “I haven’t seen her at Hardcore either, but I definitely like what I see.”

“Me, too,” Zach agreed enthusiastically. “She doesn’t seem to be with anyone. How about we go say hi?”

“Sounds like a plan,” Steve agreed.

They walked toward the long, low couch where the girl sat alone. She didn’t appear to notice them as they approached, her gaze still fixed intently on the scene before her. Harry had resumed the whipping and Maryanne was moaning in a low, sexy way that begged for more.

“Hey there,” Zach said, smiling down at the new girl. “Is there room for us to join you?”

“What?” The girl tore her gaze from the scene long enough to glance at Zach and Steve. “I’m sorry, yes, of course.” Her long, wavy red hair was pulled back from her face and clipped at the nape of her neck with a wide silver barrette. Her shoulders were bare, save for the black spaghetti straps of her dress. Steve instantly imagined the red welts he could paint across her milky-white, flawless skin.

She started to scoot from her perch in the center of the couch, but before she could move, Zach and Steve took seats on either side of her. “We haven’t seen you around before,” Zach said with a friendly smile. “Is this your first time at Hardcore?”

“Yes. First time,” she replied. “Is it always like this? I mean”—she waved toward the whipping station, the scene now winding down as Harry helped his sub from the cross, his arm around her shoulders—“so intense?”

“Oh, yeah,” Zach said with a grin. “And even more intense if you go to one of the private scene rooms.” He extended his large hand toward the girl. “I’m Zach Wilder. Welcome to Hardcore, Portland’s premiere underground BDSM club.”

“Shea O’Connor,” she replied, placing her hand briefly in his.

“And this is my good friend, Steve Hartman.” Zach nodded toward Steve.

Shea turned toward him, and Steve took her soft, small hand in his, keeping it there as he said, “Nice to meet you, Shea. I don’t see a collar. Are you owned?”

“Am I…what?” She pulled her hand away. “Oh! No, no. I’m here alone. I’m not, um, owned.” Her eyes were a vivid blue. The bridge of her nose was dusted with a sprinkling of freckles. Her mouth was small but her lower lip was full and sensual. A flush of color had risen in her cheeks, and she looked down suddenly at her lap.

“I sense you’re new to the scene?” Steve suggested, watching her closely.

The color deepened in her cheeks as she lifted her head to meet his gaze. Instead of answering his question, she said, “I’m quite familiar with the dynamics of BDSM,” her tone suddenly more formal, more in control. “I’m what you would call an observer of human behavior. I’ve always been intrigued by the concept of masochism and erotic submission. The whole idea of someone voluntarily allowing another person to subjugate and control them—that they’d willingly bare their throat in submission to the stronger member of the pack, like wolves in the wild”—she shuddered—“I’m both fascinated and repelled that this continues to play out in civilized society.”

Ah, Steve thought, amused. So that’s how she plays it. He had run into her type before—the kind of woman who had trouble reconciling her feminist, hyper-intellectualized take on the world with her more primal, sexually submissive and masochistic desires.

He decided to meet her on her own terms. “I’ve also made something of a study of BDSM from an intellectual standpoint. But in my ten years in the scene, I’ve found that intellect will only take you so far. You can watch a dozen demonstrations on proper whipping techniques and listen to lectures about how to flow with the erotic pain, but I can guarantee you you’ll learn more from that first cracking stroke of leather or a hard palm against your bare ass than a month’s worth of study and research. To really understand dominance and submission, even from a scientific point of view, you need to experience it firsthand.”

He could see he had her attention. Her lips had parted slightly and her pupils were dilated. She wrapped her arms around herself in a protective gesture and turned away from him.

Zach, waiting on her other side, took over with a friendly smile. “You know what they say”—he placed his hand lightly on her thigh—“a good spanking is worth a thousand words.”

Sensing they might be moving too fast, Steve made an effort to dial things back. “Of course, if you just want to watch your first time out, that’s entirely understandable. Some people here never scene. They just move from station to station, watching.”

“That’s true,” Zach agreed, letting his hand fall away from Shea’s thigh. “It’s important, especially when you’re just starting out, to find the right partner. If and when you’re ready, you should know that Steve and I are experienced trainers. We’d be happy to initiate you, if you like. Maybe just start out with a light spanking, and see where we go from there.”

“A light spanking,” Shea said somewhat breathlessly, her eyes widening. “Gosh. I don’t know. I mean, I’ve never…” She trailed off, looking down.

Steve noted her nipples poking against the black fabric of her dress and the flush of color that hadn’t faded from her cheeks. She was definitely interested, but uncertain.

He leaned back, returning his gaze to Harry and Maryanne. “No pressure, Shea. It’s entirely your call.”

She nodded, seemingly reassured as she, too, focused again on the whipping scene still being enacted in front of them.

Taking Steve’s cue, Zach, too, settled back against the couch cushions. If Shea was like most subs, she would be doing her own work now—watering the seed of an idea Zach had planted in her brain with the words a light spanking. She would run the gamut of resistance, refusal, curiosity, desire until, hopefully, desire would win out.

Sure enough, not five minutes passed before she said again, “A light spanking. Maybe I could do that.” She looked around the club and then from one guy to the other. “Where would we do it?”

“Right here,” Steve said, patting the couch.

“Right here?” she repeated. “In front of all these people?”

“No one’s paying any attention to us, Shea,” Zach said with a smile. “They’re kind of busy, don’t you think?” He waved toward the various scene stations where leather-clad and half-naked people were busy with rope, chain and impact toys, none of them even remotely interested in the three fully clothed people chatting on the observation couch.

“We could always go into a private scene room, if you’re more comfortable with that,” Steve added.

“No,” Shea said quickly. She drew in a breath and blew it out, a resolute expression moving over her face. “Don’t I need, um, like a safeword or something?”

Steve chuckled. “You’re not going to need a safeword for a little spanking.”

“But if that makes you more comfortable,” Zach interjected, “then by all means, tell us your safeword.”

“I don’t have a,” Shea began, but then amended, “I mean, my safeword is”—she paused a fraction of a second and then concluded—“zirconium.”

Zach looked puzzled. “Zir-whaty-um?”

“Zirconium,” Steve repeated. “It’s a metal—a chemical element, right?”

“That’s right,” Shea said, flashing him a very pretty, dimpled smile. “Zr in the periodic table. I’m a scientist,” she added.

Of course you are, Steve thought, mildly amused.

“Very cool,” Zach said sincerely. “If you say your safeword, all action stops,” he assured her. “That’s a promise.”

Shea bit her lip as she fought whatever internal battle was roiling inside her. Steve and Zach waited silently for her decision, as neither of them believed in pressuring a sub, especially a newbie. She had to offer herself freely, or not at all.

Finally Shea gave a small, determined nod. “Yes, okay,” she said. “Let’s try the experiment.”

Shea stood and smoothed the flowing skirt of her short dress over her thighs. Though she looked like a deer caught in the headlights, she slipped off her heels as Steve moved to the center of the couch and patted his thighs in invitation.

Zach rose from the couch and helped Shea drape herself over Steve’s lap. She had a full, voluptuous figure, her ass ample and perfect for spanking. Though Steve normally favored more slender, narrow-hipped girls, he found himself quite attracted to Shea O’Connor, and his cock nudged appreciatively as she settled over him.

Zach crouched on the floor beside them and leaned close to Shea. “Steve will start easy and work up to more, based on how you’re doing, okay?” He tucked an escaped tendril of hair behind her ear.

“Okay,” Shea replied in a small voice.

Steve began to lift the hem of her dress with the intention of pulling down her panties, but Shea jerked up and twisted her head back in alarm, her hands flying to keep her ass covered. “No!” she cried. “Just over the dress. I’m not ready for more than that.”

Steve lifted an eyebrow. He was about to explain that he always insisted on skin-on-skin contact, but Zach shot him a look and gave a small, quick shake of his head.

“All right,” Steve acquiesced. “We can start that way.”

He began lightly, really just patting her ass over the fabric of her dress with the flat of his palm while Zach stroked her back and shoulders. After a while, she relaxed against him, cradling her face in her arms. He increased the impact slowly until he finally brought down the first satisfying smack, which sent a pleasant jolt through his cock.

Shea stiffened and emitted a small gasp.

Zach stroked her back. “Shh, relax,” he soothed.

Steve smacked her again, this time several good hard whacks.

“Oh! Oh, oh, oh!” Shea squeaked as she wriggled beneath his hand.

“That’s it,” Zach said calmly as he stroked her head. “You’re doing great.” He gave Steve a nod.

Steve was dying to pull up that stupid dress and yank down her panties, but he managed to control himself. He hit her hard through the layers of fabric, cupping his palm to increase the sting.

As he spanked the girl, he thought about how to reach her, to convince her of the need for skin-on-skin contact. Leaning over Shea, he said softly into her ear, “You would experience the sensation more authentically without the buffer of your skirt and panties, Shea. It would give you a better understanding of the process.”

The girl didn’t respond. She was breathing hard, her face hidden against her arms.

Taking this nonresponse as tacit permission, Steve lifted the hem of her dress. Shea didn’t move. Beneath the dress, she wore a pair of pink cotton panties that fully covered her ample ass cheeks. Steve glanced at Zach, who was grinning.

What the fuck? Zach mouthed silently. Steve knew what Zach was thinking, because he was thinking the same thing: who over the age of twelve wore cotton briefs, especially to a BDSM sex club? Yet, Steve was both curiously touched by the simple panties and intensely turned on. Could this girl possibly be as innocent as she appeared? Would Zach and he be the first to introduce her to the undeniable power and passion of BDSM?

His balls tight with anticipation, Steve slipped his fingers beneath the elastic waistband of Shea’s underwear.

All at once, she jerked her head up from her arms and twisted back, her entire body stiffening. “No!” she cried. “Not my panties. I didn’t say my panties.”

Steve removed his hand, forcing himself to resist the nearly overpowering impulse to ignore her. He pressed his lips together to keep from snapping at her.

“Sorry about that, Shea,” Zach said, coming to the rescue. “We didn’t mean to move too fast. Panties stay on. We got it.”

“Okay, then,” Shea said sulkily as she flashed a glare in Steve’s direction.

He met her gaze calmly.

Turning away, Shea lowered her head once more into her arms.

If she were his, he would never tolerate such sass, but he reminded himself this was just a scene, a very casual scene with a total stranger. He would take it—and her—on its own terms.

Steve cupped his palm and let it crash against her left buttock, his cock shooting to attention as the impact forced her hard against his thighs, her round ass cheeks jiggling. He began again to smack her in a steady, hard rhythm as Zach spoke in a soft, soothing patter.

Shea was breathing hard, nearly panting. The backs of her thighs had turned a pretty shade of dark pink. Heat radiated from beneath her silly cotton underwear. Unable to resist another second, Steve again reached for the waistband of her panties, this time yanking them down before she could stop him to reveal an ass just as red as her thighs.

“Zirconium!” Shea cried as she reached back wildly to bat his hands away. In the next instant, she rolled abruptly from Steve’s lap and onto Zach, who reached out in an effort to catch her.

Pulling away from him, she shot to her feet, her eyes wild, the flush on her cheeks, throat and chest giving her the mottled appearance of a post-orgasmic woman.

Zach, too, had risen quickly to his feet. He reached out to place steadying hands on the girl’s shoulder. “Hey, calm down, Shea. Everything’s okay. Really, it is. You need to take a deep breath.”

Steve stood as well, furious at himself for pushing her too fast. “I apologize, Shea. I overstepped.”

“No, it’s okay,” she said breathlessly, taking a step back so Zach’s hands fell away. She slipped her feet into her shoes, reaching down with one hand to adjust one of them and nearly losing her balance in the process. “It’s not you. It’s just…” She trailed off as she reached for her purse. Hugging it to her chest, she continued, “I was wrong about this whole thing. It’s too much. I can’t— I just— I have go.”

Steve slipped his hand into his back pocket and pulled out one of their calling cards. “Here,” he said, holding it out to her. “Take this. I hope you’ll give us—and yourself—another chance. I sense something powerful in you, Shea—something we need to explore.”

Without looking at it, Shea slipped the card into her clutch. “I have to go,” she whispered again, both yearning and confusion in her eyes.

“It’s okay. We understand,” Zach said kindly. “Don’t be a stranger.”

With a last look at each of them, she slipped away.

Once she was gone, they both sank onto the sofa. Steve blew out a breath of frustration as Zach pushed his hair out of his eyes, not noticing that it immediately flopped back again.

“Jesus,” Zach exclaimed. “What the hell just happened? She was doing great.”

“She was afraid,” Steve said.

“Of us?”

“Of herself,” Steve replied.

~*~

“Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god, I can’t believe I did that. I can’t believe I did that.”

Shea gripped the steering wheel of her parked car and banged her forehead lightly against it three times. She was still breathing too fast from having sprinted up the stairs of the club and out into the parking lot like a madwoman. Though the evening was cool, she was sweating, her heart still pounding. She needed some water. She needed cookies.

“No,” she admonished herself aloud. “You’ve been so good. Don’t fuck it up now.”

I’ve just had my first spanking and I freaked out and ruined everything, she reminded herself. Cookies are called for.

Leaning across the gearshift, she reached for the emergency package of Oreos she kept in the glove compartment and tore open the cellophane. She grabbed two cookies and popped them, one after the other, into her mouth.

As she chewed the crunchy chocolate wafers and lovely cream filling, she began to relax a little. Before closing the bag, she took out six more cookies.

As she ate them, the usual guilt about eating junk food began to rear its ugly head, but she pushed it away. She needed those cookies after what she’d been through. She had earned them.

She picked up the bottle of water from its holder and took a drink. She became aware that her ass cheeks and thighs were stinging. She shifted on the leather and readjusted her short dress, a dress she had bought just for this occasion and would probably never wear again.

“Oh my god,” she said again as the whole astonishing scene scrolled past her mind’s eye. “I can’t believe I did that.”

Shea had fantasized for years about just such a scenario, and now that she had actually made it happen, she’d blown it.

Well, that wasn’t exactly true. The scenario she’d imagined, the one she masturbated to at night before going to sleep, only involved one guy—a tall, dark and handsome guy who sometimes looked like Zac Ephron and sometimes like Cary Grant, depending on her mood. In her fantasy, he takes the champagne flute from her hand and sets it on the table. He pulls her into an embrace and kisses her until she loses her breath. Then he swoops her into his arms and carries her, effortlessly—she would weigh thirty pounds less than she actually did, of course—to the huge bed they share in their penthouse apartment in New York City or the Italian villa they go to in the winter. He makes her undress in front of him—a slow, sexy striptease—and then he orders her to lie across his lap.

He starts the spanking slowly, the same way Steve had, except he also lets his fingers slip between her legs. He alternates the pleasure and the pain, smacking her, then stroking her, until she’s nearly crying with the need to come.

“Beg me,” he whispers, and she does, and then she comes.

Real life always returned at that point, and she was still alone in her bed in her small Portland apartment.

Another fantasy was darker, and the man in that one had no face. He is there when she opened the door to her apartment, pulling her inside before she even had a chance to take the key from the lock.

He slams the door and pushes her hard against it. When she starts to protest, to scream, he slaps her across the face and then presses his hand hard over her mouth to muffle her cries. His other hand comes to her throat, and he catches her beneath the jaw so she can’t breathe.

“I’m going to take my hand from your mouth,” he says, his voice low, hard and sexy. “And you’re not going to make a sound.” He squeezes harder, her very life in his powerful hand. “Understand?”

She nods, barely able to move her head. He takes his hand from her throat, but only long enough to rip her clothes away. He forces her to the floor, holding her down with one hand while he pulls off his shirt and jeans. He rises over her, revealing his hard, muscular body and huge, erect cock. His hand once more on her throat, he slaps her thighs hard to make her open her legs, and then he forces himself inside her as he covers her mouth with his to stifle her terrified cries.

Shea’s hand had slipped into her panties. She stroked her sopping wet pussy as the fantasy followed its much worn path in her mind.

A sudden rapping on her window caused Shea to yank her hand from beneath her dress with a cry. She whipped her head toward the sound.

Two young women were standing outside her car, concerned looks on their faces. Shea couldn’t open the window without the car being on, and for a second, she just stared at them until her brain kicked back into action enough to allow her to open her door a crack.

“Is something wrong?” she asked, wondering if the heat in her face showed in the glare of the parking lot lights.

“Are you okay?” one of the girls asked. “We were just having a cigarette when we saw you run out of the club and to your car a few minutes ago.”

“Then when you just sat in your car for so long, we were, like, you know, worried you were sick or something,” the other girl said.

A flurry of thoughts and emotions rushed through Shea—embarrassment and annoyance at their intrusion on her privacy, appreciation that they’d noticed and cared about another woman who might be in distress, and disgusted anger that the two girls, who definitely should have known better, were smoking cigarettes. She tried to harness the better of her emotions as she replied, “Oh, no, I’m fine. Really. I just—I just needed some air, is all.”

Grabbing her bag, she fumbled for her key and slid it into the ignition, praying the car would behave. The car started and she smiled at the girls. “Thanks, though, for looking out for me. That was really nice of you.”

With a wave to the retreating girls, Shea pulled the door shut and put the car in reverse. As she drove out of the parking lot and onto the streets of Portland, her mind returned to Hardcore, and the two guys who had appeared out of nowhere and offered to scene with her.

To scene with her!

It sounded so sexy and sophisticated. She, Shea O’Connor, had been in a scene, a BDSM scene! People really did this stuff, and not just in fantasy.

Her thoughts segued to the couple at the whipping station. They’d been engaged in a lot more than just a little spanking. Jesus, the guy had used a bullwhip on that woman. He’d left marks—raised red welts that had to hurt like hell. And the woman had liked it. No, she had loved it.

Shea’s pussy pulsed at the memory. As scary and astonishing as it had been to watch such an intense scene just a few yards away from her, it had also been exciting, even thrilling.

Zach Wilder and Steve Hartman. They were good names. Romance novel names. Master Zach and Sir Stephen. Sir Stephen, like in Story of O!

She would never want to be like O, though. O was stupid. O let herself be passed around like an object. She let René just hand her off to Sir Stephen—a guy who didn’t care a thing about her, except as a total object. Not even a sex object—just an object to be used and discarded. Sir Stephen even had his maid whip her when he didn’t feel like it. What kind of man did that?

But she’d loved the book, just the same. She couldn’t lie—not anymore.

She was the new Shea O’Connor. The scientist who didn’t shy away from her feelings, but instead explored them so she could better understand her own psyche and motivations.

She had lied for years, both to herself and the guys she occasionally went out with—though with them it was a lie of omission. She’d told herself her fantasies were sick and needed to be ignored. She’d told herself they were what was preventing her from finding a boyfriend, from finding love, but she was coming to understand at last, at her ripe old age of twenty-eight, that she was never going to find love if she didn’t first understand herself.

She pulled into the parking lot at the back of her apartment building and slid into her assigned space in the carport. As she reached for her purse, she saw the small, white card on the passenger seat beside it. It must have fallen out when she was getting her keys. She picked it up and read it.

Steve Hartman/Zach Wilder

Professional BDSM training

Explore the passion and the power of erotic submission

The flip side of the card included a phone number and email address.

What were these guys—professional Doms? Masters for hire? What did that even mean?

Whatever it meant, Shea couldn’t deny she was deeply intrigued. Maybe she could sign up for training. The possibility both excited and terrified her. She thought about the BDSM training site she occasionally visited—okay, that she constantly visited—where sub girls worked with a trainer who made them do all kinds of thrilling, sexy, submissive things. Did she really have the nerve to do something like that?

She looked at the card again, recalling the two handsome guys she had run away from, like Cinderella escaping the ball. She had to admit, exploring the passion and power of erotic submission did sound pretty darn good. At least in theory.

It was all too much to think about. She needed to take a deep breath and decompress.

Clutching the card, Shea climbed out of the car and made her way into her first-floor, one-bedroom apartment. She dropped her purse, keys and the card on the kitchen counter and went directly to the freezer. Yanking open the door, she rummaged behind the peas and fat-free, sugar-free, flavor-free ice-cream-like substance until she found the emergency stash of Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey.

Just a few spoonfuls to calm her nerves.

She took the carton to the counter and grabbed a spoon. The first bite was always the best. She moaned with pleasure as the wonderful creamy explosion of banana with chunks of fudge and walnuts melted in her mouth. As she ate, she slipped off her shoes, glad to be rid of the toe-pinching high heels.

She continued to mull over the evening, going over every moment with a fine-tooth comb. True, at first she’d said only over the dress, but then, when he’d lifted the hem, she hadn’t protested. She should have spoken up, instead of just hiding her head in her arms.

Steve hadn’t done anything wrong. He had followed her cues, and yes, she had wanted to feel his hand on her ass. The skin-on-skin, as he’d called it. She’d wanted it more than anything she’d ever wanted in her life.

Dropping the spoon into the nearly empty carton, Shea reached back to touch her bottom. The skin still stung a little, though it was no longer hot to the touch. Her pussy gave a throb as she saw herself draped over Steve’s lap, his hand making such intimate contact with her body. Around thirty, he was about five foot ten, with longish, wavy blond hair. He exuded a kind of tamped down sex appeal, something in the set of his somewhat cruel mouth and the intense focus of his dark blue eyes. He’d looked good in his black leather pants and button-down black shirt, his forearms muscular and ropy with veins.

Zach appeared younger, somewhere in his midtwenties, she guessed. He was tall, maybe six foot four, with the build of a football player—massive shoulders and chest, narrow hips, muscular legs. He was more boyishly handsome than Steve, with an engaging smile and dark hair that hung down over his eyes. He had a beard—not the big, bushy beard some guys were wearing these days, but more of a two-week cover of sexy stubble that gave him a rakish appeal.

Her eye fell on the calling card Steve had given her as his parting words returned to her. I hope you’ll give us—and yourself—another chance. I sense something powerful in you, Shea—something we need to explore.

He was right. She had come this far. She had embraced her deep-seated erotic urges and thrown herself headlong into researching the topic. She had learned she wasn’t sick and twisted after all. She had discovered there were thousands—no, millions—who shared her needs and desires. She had found the courage to go into the field like an intrepid explorer. She had met two hot guys who were interested in scening with her. She had allowed them to spank her!

And yes, she had loved it, even while she’d been afraid.

What must they have thought of her when she cut things off so abruptly and fled the scene? Were they laughing about it now—about the newbie wannabe sub girl who ran away in the middle of a spanking?

What would they think if they knew she was still a virgin?


Chapter 2





That Monday morning, Shea stared at the vial containing the new chemical compound she’d been working on, wondering if she’d finally gotten it right after several days of trial and error. Her concentration had been off since she’d arrived at the lab, her mind constantly sliding back to Saturday night at Hardcore. The business card Steve had handed her was burning a hole in her purse. She’d handled it a dozen times and had almost made contact, but each time she’d chickened out at the last minute.

A heavy hand on her shoulder startled her, nearly making her drop the vial.

“We’ve got a problem, O’Connor,” Scott Carroll, her boss at Cosmetic Formulations, boomed in his overloud voice. “Or rather, you’ve got a problem.”

Jeff Scharnott, who sat one workstation over in the large lab, sniggered softly, no doubt pleased Shea, and not he, had been singled out for that morning’s berating.

“What’s that, Mr. Carroll?” Shea strove to keep her voice even and calm as she willed herself not to flush. Her boss sensed weakness like a hawk sighting its prey, and always pounced. “If it’s the dimethicone adjustment, I’m aware of it and I think I’m almost there.” She held up her vial as proof. “I’m satisfied the occlusive agents are properly balanced now with a good humectant.”

Shea had helped in the development of several successful moisturizers for the company, but this was the first time she’d been entrusted with such a complicated formulation. When she’d been given the assignment for the latest product commissioned by a top cosmetic company, she’d been both thrilled and terrified. The lotion was supposed to be a toner, serum and moisturizer in one, formulated to hydrate combination and oily skin while toning, reducing breakouts, treating sun damage and calming irritated skin. Oh, and it needed to smell good, too.

“We’ve got deadlines, O’Connor. The test groups are being lined up as we speak. Your scent is too floral. Fix it. The client wants a clean, fresh scent, something in the cucumber family with maybe a trace of citrus. If you need to pull an all-nighter—do it. Just don’t expect any overtime.”

“I’m on it, Mr. Carroll,” Shea said, willing him to walk away. She loved her job, but her boss was another story. She hated the way he called everyone by their last names, and seemed unable to modulate his voice, booming like a drill sergeant so that everyone in the lab heard every word he said. He was always quick to criticize and his rare compliments were usually backhanded and left you unsure if you’d just been praised or humiliated.

He grunted and turned his attention to Jeff. “Hey, Scharnott, you working hard or hardly working?”

Relieved she was no longer the focus of attention, Shea returned to her task, but her mind continued to drift back to the night at the club, and the two men who had taken such sexy control over her. She knew what she needed to do to get back on track with her work. She would just take care of it, and then she would be able to concentrate.

She waited until the boss had left the lab, grabbed her purse and slid from the tall stool at her workstation.

As she passed Jeff’s station, he said, “You going to the break room? Bring me back a cup of coffee. You know how I like it—cream and three sugars.”

Jeff was always telling Shea to get him something or handle some trivial formulation for him, as if she were his personal lab assistant. When she had first joined the staff two years before, fresh from graduate school, she had made the mistake of obliging him. Now, without breaking her stride, she said, “Sorry, I’m busy. Get your own coffee.”

Shea headed for the women’s restroom. One advantage of being the only woman in her lab was that she generally had the bathroom all to herself. She entered a stall and closed and locked the door. Setting her purse on the floor, she removed her lab coat and hung it on the door hook.

Reaching for her purse, she rummaged at the bottom of the large bag for the plastic cosmetic case that held her favorite travel toy—her trusty purple plastic pussy teaser. It was a G-spot vibrator with a slim, seven-inch shaft and a one-and-a-half inch egg-shaped head. She removed the toy, along with the small tube of lubricant.

Closing the toilet lid, she lifted her skirt and pulled down her panties. Standing in front of the toilet, she put one foot up on the seat and carefully inserted the vibrator into her already-wet pussy. Sitting carefully, she perched on the edge of the seat. Reaching between her spread legs, she twisted the base of the dildo to turn it on, sighing with pleasure as it began to vibrate inside her.

As she rubbed her clit, she let the new fantasy that had been fueled by the events of Saturday night scroll through her mind like an X-rated movie in which she had the starring role.

Naked, she’s hanging from chains by her cuffed wrists, spread eagle, her feet barely touching the ground. Her slender, perfect body is bathed in sweat and stippled with welts. Each crack of the bullwhip yanks a cry from her lips, but her pussy is swollen and throbbing, its juices wetting the insides of her thighs.

Sir Stephen is relentless, striking her again and again. Her heart is pounding as the whip cuts into her flesh. She’s trembling in her bonds, sweat stinging her eyes and plastering her hair to her forehead, but she won’t use her safeword, no way. Not this time.

Master Zach appears in front of her and takes her face in his hands. He dips his head and brings his mouth to her lips. Their kiss is long and passionate, and Shea forgets the pain of the whip, or rather, the pain melds into the pleasure of her lover’s kiss.

The whip, the kiss, the throb of her clit, Master Zach’s tender touch, Sir Stephen’s relentless stroke…

“Oh god,” Shea whispered as the pussy teaser vibrated inside her. “Oh, yesssss.” The orgasm was powerful, if brief, and she shuddered as it washed over and through her.

She turned off the vibrator with trembling fingers and slid it out of her still-thrumming pussy. Standing, she pulled up her panties and smoothed down her skirt. Leaving her coat and purse in the stall for the moment, she moved toward the bank of sinks. She turned on the hot water in one of the sinks and squeezed a large dollop of liquid soap over the plastic dildo.

As she washed her toy, she regarded herself in the mirror. Her cheeks and neck were mottled with telltale color. Not for the first time, she wondered about formulating a foundation that would effectively hide flushed skin without making you look like a cadaver. Would there be a market for such a product? Well, definitely a market of at least one.

Once she was satisfied the vibrator was properly cleaned, she dried it with paper towels and returned to the stall. She placed it and the tube of lubricant in their case and pushed the case down into the bottom of her bag. As she started to zip the purse closed, her gaze fell on the much-handled calling card.

She plucked the card from her bag and stared at it for the hundredth time.

Steven Hartman/Zach Wilder

Professional BDSM training

Explore the passion and the power of erotic submission

She flipped the card over, though she’d already memorized the phone number and email address.

“Just do it,” she said aloud. “You know you want to.”

Suddenly resolved, she grabbed her phone from her lab coat pocket and opened the messaging app. Before she could talk herself out of it yet again, she texted rapidly with her thumbs.

Hi. This is Shea from the other night at Hardcore. Remember me?”

~*~

Steve was in the middle of grinding a spring steel reinforced cane handle when his cell phone buzzed in his pocket. He ignored it at first, intent on finishing his task.

Zach sat across from him at the long table in the Leather Master’s workshop, busy measuring and cutting a kangaroo hide from Australia. Taggart, the Leather Master, was at the other end of the workshop, putting the finishing touches on a hanging row of eight-plaited snake whips.

The phone buzzed again. Removing his work gloves, Steve reached into his jeans pocket and pulled it out. The screen indicated he had a text message from a number he didn’t recognize. He opened the app and read the short message, his eyes widening with pleasure and surprise.

“Well, will you look at this,” he said, holding the phone out toward Zach. “I wasn’t sure we’d hear from her again.”

Zach lifted his head from his work and squinted as he read the words on the screen. His lips lifted into a smile. “Sweet,” he said. “So, text her back. See if she wants to come over.”


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