Ariyel Esmund introduced Ren Noletta, a bookkeeper, to an erotic world of dominance and submission. And then he introduced her to his friend, Creed Bennett. The two men took Ren on a journey of discovery until finally she had to make a choice between white leather or black. Now, in a new environment of whips and chains and floggers, suspension bars and bondage, Creed will take Ren even further with an exploration of her darker, hidden desires.
Not regretting her choice, Ren continues sexual lessons with her new Dom, a mysterious man with closely held secrets. But rather than being put off by Creed’s reticence to share every facet of his life with her, Ren is drawn deeper into his compartmentalized lifestyle. Though Creed is a man who rules his world with a strong hand, he uses slightly different methods of seduction and domination on Ren rather than forcing her, and she falls for him hard. New York City is a different beast from her tame-cat environment of lonely, small-town life, and Creed gives Ren new, unexpected boundaries to challenge her. Will Ren accept the additional tasks Creed presents? And where exactly does love fit into the texture of this frighteningly delicious relationship?
Food for Thought. Tonight Creed surprised her. He’d prepared dinner for her, an elegant feast of tender rosemary chicken, succulent honey-drenched baby carrots, wild rice, and a rich cherry cheesecake for dessert. The wine was a chilled white chardonnay from his cellar.
“I’ll be leaving in the morning. I’m not sure how long I’ll be gone,” he said.
“You never tell me where you’re going. What you do is very secretive isn’t it?” She picked at the chicken, snagged one of the carrots and cut it into tiny pieces.
Like everything else, Creed was very deliberate and controlled when he ate. He cut things very precisely as though he had a comfortable, almost surgical skill with a knife. He chewed slowly as though savoring each bite. He picked up his glass and took a deep swallow of the wine. With a quiet, yet deliberate motion, he set the glass back on the table.
“It’s for your own protection, Ren. You don’t want to know the details of what I do. That’s the only way I can keep you–and keep you safe. Is dinner to your liking?”
Obviously, the conversation about his upcoming trip was closed. She tried to force her thoughts away from the fact he was leaving again, and turned toward the dinner and taking some comfort from the fact that he was with her tonight. And she planned to make the best of the evening.
After dinner, he gave her time in the guest bathroom with the hand-detailed gold and white wallpaper, luxuriously accessorized for guests, to prepare. Ren wondered about those guests, but then her attention was caught by something else–a silver rectangular gift box tied with a wide silver ribbon, setting on the counter in the bathroom in front of the antique oval mirror. She gasped with pleasure when she opened it. Inside was a short black satin robe with black roses embroidered around the hem and cuffs, and a pair of elegant, silk, black-and-silver stilettos, also embroidered with a matching design. They appeared to mirror her tattoo startlingly well.
She removed her beige heels, slipped out of the jade green business suit, unhooked and rolled down her beige stockings and removed them. She unfastened her light green satin garter belt, then folded all the garments neatly and set them inside one of the inset cupboards. When she finished her preparations, she donned the robe, tied the belt, then slipped on the heels. After one more glance in the mirror, she left the spacious bathroom.
Creed eyed her appreciatively when she entered the living room. He sat in a forest green winged-back chair in front of the fireplace. When he saw her, he set aside his snifter of cognac and rose to his feet.
“When I saw the robe in the shop, I knew you had to have it,” he said as she moved toward him and knelt down. “And then I found the heels at another shop not far away.” He placed a hand on top of her head. He smoothed it over her hair.
“Thank you, Sir. They’re perfect.”
He placed a hand beneath her chin and tilted her head back. His black eyes bore into her. “I enjoy shopping for you,” he murmured. “I enjoy it very much. I enjoy fantasizing about how you’ll look in the clothes I choose for you. Or how you’ll respond to the toys I discover. What I’ll do to you, and how you’ll scream with pleasure when I’ve made you come. Again and again. Just as you’ll do tonight.”
Then he leaned down to kiss her quite thoroughly, and possessively, leaving her breathless, but still yearning for more.
He brought her to her feet, then guided her through the hallways and down to his dungeon. It was a room with black walls and black-light tracking at ceiling and floor to illuminate it. There was an array of equipment, including the suspension bar. Ren was never as aware of her surroundings as when she was in Creed’s private dungeon. Her trust in Creed was never more evident as when she was hanging from the suspension rack.
She looked toward the wall displaying implements for chastisement and pleasure. She noted the horse, a cross, and, of course, the simple bed with iron head and baseboards, hung with matching chains and manacles. Which would he use tonight?
She stripped off the robe and he took it from her and hung it from a hook near the door. He led her to the suspension apparatus. She felt no fear. Ren trusted him implicitly.
“Tonight, we’ll see if we can turn something distasteful into something quite pleasant and in fact make you yearn to repeat the experience again and again. We’ll begin with a bit of sensory deprivation. Do you have a problem with that, Ren?”
She bowed her head. “Whatever you wish, Master.” She was excited. He had never failed to challenge her, to excite her, to please her. But she couldn’t deny there was a hint of fear of the unknown tingeing her excitement. That always magnified the experience.
He placed his hand at her lower spine and guided her forward. His bare hand, so warm. Calluses, a mark of the man unafraid of hard work. As he positioned her and bound her, she glanced at the wall, at the whips, the ropes, the chains. She wondered which of the whips he’d use tonight.