The model-gorgeous guy in the suit didn't like her. Gabrielle saw that already, but no real problem. The only one she had to impress was Master Marcus, and hopefully the suit wouldn't tell on her. The man positively oozed rich and powerful, so he must be a big shot in the club. "I guess I'd better get back there before my boss arrives."
"Master Marcus. I'm waiting for him."
"You most certainly possess a poor idea of how to wait." He stared at her for another minute, disapproval radiating from him. "I have a notion that introductions are in order before you work your way further into trouble. I am Master Marcus."
She choked. Oh, no. This day is so not going well. "Ah." She cleared her throat and tried again. "Nice to meet you. Um--"
"And might I ask your name?" he asked politely. Too politely.
She took a second look at him, at his fancy tailored suit. Dark gray with pinstripes. Oh please, like she'd really believe he was a dom at all? "Gabrielle Anderson. Are you sure you're Master Marcus?"
He cocked his head. The guy was way too good-looking. Tall, broad-shouldered, lean. His hair, a rich brown shading to gold on the ends, was flawlessly styled. Definitely a perfect person like her parents. Gag. Even his tan wasn't leathery, but just dark enough to set off incredibly blue eyes. Very sharp blue eyes, in fact, and turning colder by the second.
"Why would you think I'm not Master Marcus?" he asked.
Well, good grief. She waved a hand at him and kept the duh from slipping out. Just in case he really was Master Marcus. Maybe he hadn't changed yet or something. "The suit? Where are your leathers or latex or...biker jacket or vest? And black? Did you forget to wear black?"
He stared for a second, as if she'd turned into a drooling idiot, and then simply roared. Deep, full laughter--amazing coming from someone who looked like he should have a stick up his ass.
She felt heat flooding her face and decided she really didn't like him. Maybe he was the club accountant or administrator or something. Shifting her weight, she looked past him. Hopefully the Marcus guy would arrive soon. She needed to get all established before the arrival of the kidnapper--the unsub, as a real agent would call him. She frowned. Unsub sounded too much like fake submissive. That would be me. Maybe she'd call him a perp instead.
"Best you tell me about your previous experience in BDSM," the suit said, and damn but he appeared totally different when he smiled. How many women had he destroyed with that devastating dimple in his left cheek and crease in the right? "Was it mostly in downtown clubs? Perhaps of the Goth variety?"
"Well, yeees. Why?" Several years ago too, but that's not what she'd written on her application.
He motioned for her to precede him down the hall, and when she stepped in front of him, his hand closed on her nape. Firmly, as if she were a stray dog. "I do believe you'll find a private club a mite different. A wider age range, diverse incomes, assorted tastes. Many doms here wear leathers and black; some prefer other attire."
Her stomach sank with the authoritative way he'd gripped her neck. No accountant from the back would act like this--she'd run into a dom. In a suit. Who called himself...? "You really are Master Marcus?"
"I'm afraid so, darlin'." He stopped at the place where chains hung from the low rafter and released her, only to walk around her slowly as if she stood on a display stand. "Is all your experience in public clubs?"
"Uh-huh." In her college days, she'd pop into a club, have some fun, and maybe take someone home. But she hadn't indulged since then. She'd set her sights on the FBI from day one and wasn't about to mess up her chances by doing anything less than respectable.
"I see." He tapped the ribbing on her bustier. "Remove that, please."
She stared at him. Just like that? I only met you, dammit. She hesitated, but the merciless look in those blue eyes kicked her into gear. After undoing the hooks, she tossed the bustier onto a chair outside the ropes that fenced off the scene area. She forced her arms to stay at her sides and tried to ignore the air-conditioned draft on her bare breasts.
"Very pretty." When he brushed sure fingers over her shoulder, into the hollow below her collarbone, and over the upper curve of one breast, her body woke up from her breasts all the way to her pussy--and that was damn disconcerting considering she didn't even like the guy. But he had that ruthless attitude going for him--the dominant edge that put butterflies into her stomach as if she'd swallowed fluffy bugs.
"And did you play somewhere else?" he asked. "Privately?"
Her cheeks warmed. "Not...really. I might have gone home with a man after, but for kinky stuff, I stayed in the clubs. More public or something."
"I see. You didn't trust any dom enough to let him restrain you without other people around."
"Ah." She'd never thought of it like that but--okay. He was right. She nodded.
"I prefer to have verbal answers," he said ever so softly. "'Yes, Sir' will serve for now."
She couldn't keep the shiver from running down her spine. The guy wielded a razor-sharp voice, no matter how soft it was. "Yes, Sir."
"That sounds very pretty, sugar," he said, and the caress in his voice turned all her bones into a seriously mushy state. Until he added, "Remove the skirt, please."
She looked up, and his eyes could be just as lethal as his tone. Why did he bother to say 'please'? She stepped out of the skirt, wishing she'd done more time in the gym. Done any time in the gym. Maybe walked a little at least. Nothing like a fat ass to impress a man.
But hey, this wasn't about impressing the fussy dom. She'd come here to lure a kidnapper--a killer--into a trap. She shivered.
His eyes narrowed. "Do you have a problem with being unclothed?"
Hell. Keep your mind on business, Gabi. "No, Sir. Just cold, Sir."
"Um-hmm." He walked around her again, inspecting her as if she were the star at a dog show. Totally insulting--and yet she felt her nipples contracting to dagger points and a disconcerting wetness between her thighs. She shifted to put her legs closer together.
"Master Z requested I take you on. Did you read the rules for the trainees?"
"Um. Yes." She caught the hint of ice in his eyes and added a hasty, "Sir."
He unhooked a set of golden-colored leather cuffs from the back of his belt. After buckling them on her wrists, he carefully checked the fit and then attached her left cuff to a chain dangling from the rafter. "The safe word for the trainees is red," he said as he reached for another chain and did her right arm. He kept the chains long enough so that her arms could remain at waist level. "I want for you to use it if you become overwhelmed in any way, from fear, pain...whatever. It will bring the dungeon monitors a-running."
"If I use a safe word, does that mean everything is off?" She couldn't afford to blow this.
His face softened. "No, sugar. It means I stop whatever we're doing and we sit down and chat for a bit."
"Oh. Okay. Good. Um, Sir." Can I really see this through? This lethal dom wasn't anything like the ones she'd played with in the downtown clubs. Fear wavered inside her, and she shoved it away. Mostly.
She saw his gaze on her and realized her fingers were tracing the scar on her cheek. He pulled her hand down and enfolded it in his warm one. "Gabrielle, do you have a problem with bondage you didn't mention on the application?" he asked.
"No, Sir." When he didn't move, she added, "Really. I'm just a little nervous, Sir."
"All right then." He walked to the wall, and the chains attached to her wrist cuffs began to tighten, pulling her arms over her head. He stopped before she had to go up on tiptoe.
She tried to be grateful for the small concession, but suddenly she felt...naked. Really naked, much more than when she'd taken off her clothes. Then she'd worried about how she looked. Now...now she felt the intensity of his gaze as he strolled around her again.
"What...what are you going to do?"
"I'm fixin' to acquaint myself with my new trainee's body as we have a chat." His fingers ran over her sunburned shoulders, and he murmured, "Sunscreen, darlin'--you best use more of it."
A pause. He shot one of those stabbing blue looks at her.
"There you go. That does sound nice." He played with her hair, fingered the blue streak and shook his head, then ran his finger over her lips.
As her mouth tingled, she couldn't help but wonder what he'd taste like. Could he kiss? Would he?
He caught the direction of her stare, and his lips quirked. Don't react, she told herself, yet when he stroked his hand down her neck, her breasts seemed to swell in anticipation.
"Our trainees are long-standing submissives. The membership knows that," he said and frowned at her. "Your application didn't contain much information on your previous experience in the lifestyle, and I'm wondering if you're ready to jump into something like this."
"I have experience." A little bit. "I'll be fine."
"There is no easing-in period for trainees, you know."
"That's okay," she said quickly. "Don't treat me special or go slow or anything. I want to jump right in."
His eyes narrowed, and then he shook his head and let it go. "Tell me why you want to be a trainee?"
His hand cupped her breast, and she shivered at the gentleness of his touch and the slight abrasion of his skin. His fingers weren't soft and pampered like she'd expected. Hadn't Master Z said the trainer was an attorney? "Why don't you talk like a lawyer?"
He blinked and smiled. "I grew up in a small town in Georgia. But I can sound quite lawyerly in court." He caressed her breasts for a minute. "Gabrielle, I do believe I asked you a question."
Oh. How was she supposed to remember a cover story when he was...groping her? Hell of an interrogation technique--she'd have to recommend it to the field agents. "Um, I want to learn more about the lifestyle and myself." Master Z had mentioned some of the right reasons. "I want to hook up with a nice dom, but in the clubs, they seemed mostly interested in one-night stands, and I was never sure who to trust."
He watched her intently as his thumb rubbed over her nipple. She could feel it bunching and wanted to squirm. "What type of dom? Are you hoping to be a slave?"
Do I look insane? Then again she stood here in the middle of a BDSM club. Maybe she was nuts. "No. But I'd like to find someone who is more than a weekend dom," she said, and the statement might have been true if she participated in the lifestyle. But she'd left her kinky side behind with college. Respectable"R"Me.
His hands curved around her waist, and the fact that he was working his way...down...created all sorts of funny feelings in her. Would he actually touch her...?
"You marked yes to sex on the trainee form," he said.
God, talk about getting right to the point. She hadn't thought it through until Master Z had bluntly explained what she could expect if she checked yes for that option. And she'd decided absolutely not. But during the briefing talks, Special Agent Rhodes, the asshole, had carefully avoided the subject of her having sex, but repeatedly mentioned that all the kidnapped submissives had had public sex in the clubs. She couldn't afford prudish behavior.
Besides, she'd done incredibly stupid things in her teens and in college, including one-night stands just for a thrill. She could damn well manage to have sex with a few strangers now if it meant she might save Kim.
It still made her feel a little...dirty. I'm not that kind of girl anymore. "Sex is okay. Sure."
His eyes narrowed. "You've just run smack-dab into one of my rules: don't lie to your dom. If you're feeling uncertain, say so." He stroked his fingers down and across her hips. "Try again, Gabrielle."
"Oh." She swallowed, trying not to get distracted as his hand massaged her butt. Sex. Right now her body yelled for it. But her head... Dammit, she couldn't let her squeamish behavior derail this operation. "It's only nerves, Sir. I want sex."
"Mmmhmm." He avoided her pussy and knelt to slide his hands down her legs, hopefully not seeing the dimples and bulges in her thighs. At least she had good calves and ankles. He touched her blue toenails and snorted softly.
A stiff, conservative lawyer. Just like her father.
As he rose and his firm hands ran back up, he ordered, "Tell me about your experience with oral, vaginal, and anal."
Why couldn't he show some conservatism with his questions? Whatever happened to modesty? Privacy? With a sinking sensation, she knew the man wouldn't allow any, either physically or emotionally. Pull up your big-girl panties, Gabi. "Yes to the first two. I've... One guy wanted to do the other, and I wouldn't."
He nodded. "So you have had some experience. We'll discuss anal sex some other time." He stroked a finger over the tender crease between her hip and thigh and then patted her pussy. "I will require you to keep yourself bare with no stubble. Is that clear?"
Her life was changing faster than she found comfortable. Would the Internet have instructions on how to shave down there without slicing off something essential? "Yes, Sir."
"To continue: how about other doms touching you? Or taking you? Or women? Members can request a trainee for a scene, which might involve anything from light sensation play to bondage, pain, and/or sex."
He touched her pussy, and she gasped as the low heat inside her turned to flames. He gave her a devastating smile that creased his right cheek. "You're wet, Gabrielle. I do like that." He drew his finger up slowly, stopping on the very top of her clit, and she could almost feel it pulsing against his touch. She swayed, grateful for the support of the chains.
He'd only touched her. Hell, she'd had sex with guys and not gotten this turned on.
"Answer me," he said.
"Damn you, how am I supposed to remember what you asked?"
His chuckle sounded as low and smooth as his voice. "You might not, but here's your next rule: a submissive is always, always respectful to a dom. Any dom, but especially her trainer...if she knows what's good for her."
His damn finger remained right there, making her world spin. "Yes, Sir."
He caught her gaze. Held it. "I will punish you if you rile me up by being disrespectful, Gabrielle. Am I clear?"
"Yes, Sir." If she moved, just a little, pushed her hips toward his hand, would he notice? Would it make--
She closed her eyes, trying not to whine like a baby. Mean bastard to get her worked up and not finish the job.
"Now answer my question."
What the hell had he asked? Oh, other doms, touching, taking, women. "The thought of doing anything with a woman squicks me out. Didn't I mark that?"
"I like to double-check what subs write," he said. He straightened, moving closer until she could feel the heat of his body, until his eyes filled her world. "You'll scene with different doms, you realize. How about more than one man?"
"I expected the variety of doms." Master Z had warned her, again and again. "But I've never had two at the same time." Except once. The horrible memory shriveled everything up inside her. Could she tolerate more than one man touching her? And yet, what if she liked the men? A tiny bit of excitement slid through her, and she couldn't tell if her shiver came from disgust or anticipation.
His keen eyes didn't miss her reaction. "If I put you between two doms, what will you do, Gabrielle?"
Hell. She bit her lip. "I'm not sure... I guess I'll try?"
His smile warmed her right to the bone. "Good answer." He tugged on her hair, still smiling. "You had any experience with flogging? Canes? Spankings?"
She swallowed hard. "Spanking. A really soft flogger. Not...the rest."
"All right. You had question marks beside most of the impact play. When I see question marks on a limit list, I take it as a request to explore further."
Her hands went damp. She'd seen a lot of scary stuff on the application, and yet, as he watched her with utter self-confidence, she figured--maybe--she might manage okay. Somehow he made her feel as if she could trust him not to go too far.
But she hadn't seen him angry yet. How would he react when she disobeyed him? She had to behave like a bratty submissive; that was the whole point.
"Spread your legs," he said.
Wanting to get a hint of how he'd respond, she scowled and said, "I thought you told me not to move."
Although he slapped her thigh lightly, the sting ran right to her clit. "Best apologize, and do as I asked. I do not like and I will not tolerate bratty behavior."
Oh God, he wasn't going to give her much leeway at all for acting as a decoy. Her worries ratcheted up another notch. "I'm sorry, Master Marcus."
Her thigh burned, and despite her anxiety, excitement fizzed through her veins, even more than when he'd touched her clit. More? Because he'd swatted her? Please tell me I didn't like getting whacked.
As if he had all day for her to think about things, he waited with his arms crossed. When she finally opened her thighs, he gave her an approving smile. Curving his fingers over her hip, he got a firm grip. His other hand touched her pussy, and she tensed as her anticipation ratcheted up a notch. His fingertips grazed over her lightly, spreading licks of flame that converged on her clit.
He slid his finger between her labia, opening her more, and pushed firmly inside her. She gasped as pleasure zinged across her nerves, sending her up on tiptoe. She tried to jerk away. Too intimate. Too much.
His grip only tightened as he thrust farther, in and out, side to side, each movement increasing the seething tension growing in her body.
Dammit, he was studying her again, like a specimen, and she shook with the feeling of being just some object. Can I do this?
"Easy, sugar," he said and released his grip on her hip to cup her cheek instead. With his hand cupping her pussy, his finger still inside her, he brushed his lips over her mouth, and she sighed at the gentleness. How could he act so...ruthless and yet comforting at the same time.
"I'm only checking your size, your response." His lips curved, creating a dimple in his left cheek. "I do hate to get the wrong size toys."
Toys? Her vagina clamped down around his finger, and he laughed.
"Took a shine to the idea, did you?" After pulling his finger out, he pushed in two, stretching her. Then three.
Too much. She squirmed, unsure if the fullness felt erotic or just uncomfortable. He set a hand on her bottom, holding her there for a minute as her pussy throbbed around him.
"You have a snug little pussy, sugar," he murmured and withdrew. After licking his fingers as if tasting a new kind of ice cream, he smiled. "And you taste very nice."
Something inside her relaxed. He liked her taste. And wasn't that another one of those stupid female fears? Why didn't guys ever worry about things like that?
At least his touch lessened some of her concerns, not only about sex with strangers, but about sex, period. It hadn't interested her in quite a while. But if Master Marcus wanted to take her now--and the tailoring of his pants couldn't disguise his huge erection--she was completely ready.
To her surprise--and dismay--he released her from the chains without doing anything else. She wanted sex, and he didn't? "But..."