Don't be afraid. It's nothing more than research. It's not like anything is going to happen. Yeah, that's what you said when you signed on to the chat room. That nothing would happen. That you wouldn't get personally involved. That you'd be able to get enough research done that way. Yet, here you are about to make a colossal mistake.
Dani stood outside what looked like a normal bar and hesitated. The place wasn't open and wouldn't be for another four hours. That's why she was here now. For her private tour. Right. And hopefully that's all it would be, and not her very private execution.
Danielle Summers was as vanilla as a milkshake. She should have at least had the good sense to try and dress the part. But no, here she stood in her little floral cotton blouse and white pencil skirt. She looked down at her new white pumps. At least they were heels. She smoothed her shoulder length, caramel-colored hair and took a deep breath. Now or never. She raised her hand and held it there for a few seconds before knocking tentatively on the door.
It opened and the man opening it turned away and went to answer the sharply trilling phone. "Bar None," he said. "That's right, nothing's barred here. We indulge in all sorts of BDSM play."
She'd wondered where the name had come from. Now it made sense. This was the type of club where anything would go. The man on the phone had his back to her, and a big bad back it was. He had to be at least six foot two and had the shoulders of a linebacker. Tanned, muscular arms extended from his black leather vest which hung open. Jeans clung to his firm ass and long legs.
Fuck. No wonder some women were into the submission thing. Who wouldn't want to submit to that?
Then he turned and she wished to God she hadn't worn her granny panties. Six million thongs and today had to be the day to run out and be forced to wear underwear normally saved for heavy period days. She didn't want him to see the plain white cotton bloomers covering her ass. She'd die of shame.
Wait. What was she thinking? She wasn't here to disrobe. She was here to ask questions only. To see the place. Get it in her mind's eye so she could write about it later.
But the face of an angel, or more likely a devil enticed her panties to a puddle. This man was eight kinds of sin rolled in to one. Hair dark as pitch curled haphazardly along the nape of his neck in that in-between stage where you wondered if he'd merely missed his last haircut. Almond shaped eyes, green as a cat's and just as predatory, blinked at her. He hung up the phone and eyed her up and down. The corner of his mouth turned up in a wicked grin. "You must be Danielle Summers."
He walked over to her and held out his hand. "I'm John Broughan."
He could be anyone he fucking wanted to be. She didn't care as long as she could look at him some more. His grin became toothy and she realized she was just standing there like an idiot.
"Pleasure," she said as she put her hand in his.
He cocked one eyebrow. "That is the specialty of this place and if you're looking, I aim to please." His voice was rich and smooth like rich chocolate. Dani involuntarily licked her lips.
John laughed. "Now here I was under the impression that you were here to do research for a book. What exactly are your publishing credits? We never did get into that."
Shit. She was hoping the subject wouldn't come up. She didn't want him to know she wasn't a published author yet. Then she felt the squeeze of his thumb on her hand. She'd been holding on to his hand and hadn't let go. Dani dropped it like a hot coal and took a deep breath. "I'm working on my MFA and I'm hoping this project will get published when I'm finished."
"Yes. A Masters of Fine Art. A lot of people pursue publishing this way."
He grinned at her more. "So what do you want first?"
Such a simple sentence, and yet her nipples tightened on impact. Oh yeah, that's what she'd like first. His mouth on her breasts, and then. . . .
"Talk or tour?" The twinkle in his eyes alerted her that he wasn't only aware of her woolgathering, but could also guess the direction she'd driven.
Flustered, Danielle had to shelve her attraction. Maybe it wasn't him. Maybe it was her research topic juicing her up. She glanced up at John. Fuck, no. It was him. And not just his physical appearance. He exuded power, authority and intelligence.
A subtle tilt of his head and slight widening of his eyes reminded her he waited for her response. She couldn't wait to get a good look at the place with its special rooms and devices used only for those who lived the lifestyle. But it would have to wait. She needed some basic information first.
"I guess maybe we should talk first. I have a few questions."
He pointed to the bar. "Have a seat. Would you like a drink? Maybe a soda? Water?"
With her immature crush and reactions, it was a wonder he hadn't asked if she wanted milk. Dani slid on to the stool and placed her purse on top of the bar. "Diet-whatever-you-have would be fine."
John took a glass, flipped it up in the air and caught it. He filled it with ice and soda and placed it in front of her. He grabbed a lemon and cut a slice. Rather than putting it in the glass, he brought it to her mouth and rubbed it along her lips. His fingers hovered centimeters away and Dani wanted to lick and bite them.
"Suck," he said.
Like a knee-jerk reaction her pussy clenched at the sound of that one word. Opening her mouth, her lips encased the lemon and his fingers and she sucked the tart fruit before he pulled it away and placed it in her drink.
He leaned toward her, his voice a low caress. "You'd make a great submissive. You should think about doing some first hand research for that book of yours."
She shivered but she wasn't sure if it was from the air conditioning or from the suggestion. It'd been quite a while since she'd indulged in any sex and that was probably why Mr. Hot-N-Sexy was making her mind consider what she normally wouldn't. Her? A submissive? Not a chance. But it would be a lot of fun getting to play with the sex god in front of her. And she would gain information she wouldn't get by just asking interview questions. Hmm. . . .
Taking a sip of her drink, Dani avoided his question. She opened her purse and took out her cell. "You don't mind if I take notes, do you?"
"Since it's an interview, I expected it."
"Right. Great, great. Okay then. Are the only people who come into the bar people who engage in the BDSM lifestyle?" She gulped and hoped she didn't say anything to put him off or to insult him.
"Well, that is the type of club this is. But no. We get a lot of people who are just curious. Some just want kicks, but then find out it isn't for them. Some have no more than a vague inclination, and with others, it becomes a major part of their lives."
She didn't have to wonder what category he fit into. Obviously, if he worked at Bar None it was a part of his lifestyle.
"Are you a Dom?" The words slipped out and she knew red crept up her cheeks. What a stupid thing to ask. She wasn't here to get personal. Then again, maybe she was. The questions about the bar and the lifestyle would have to be personal and he'd have known that going in.
"Let's assume that's a yes." He leaned against the bar and smiled at her, perfectly comfortable with his response. No anger or embarrassment.
"Why? Did you think I might have been a sub?" The corner of his mouth turned back up in a lopsided grin and his eyes bore into hers.
Dani felt her face flush again. One look at his movements, the simple way he carried himself was enough to know he wouldn't submit to anyone. This man could have worn alpha as a tattoo. And he knew it. He was playing with her. Or was he. . . ? Holy shit. The sex god was flirting with her.
The thought of it made her stomach flip and her mind become hazy. Dani reached for her glass and knocked it over, spilling the contents. A river of diet soda began to surge down the length of the bar. "Oh no. I'm so sorry."
John picked up a cloth and cleaned up the mess with alacrity. He shook his head. "Now how should I punish you?"
Fuck me. Fuck me, please. Damn her thoughts. Her body quivered, trying to imagine what he might do. She stared at him wide-eyed and he laughed.
"If you were my sub then maybe I'd bend you over the barstool and slap your naughty ass with my bare hand. Maybe I should, anyway. Just to give you a taste of the lifestyle. Bend you over, raise you skirt so that it's up by your waist, pull down your panties, and spank your ass red."
Her hands were shaking and it was hard to stay straight on her chair. He must have been watching her expression because his voice became low and soothing.
"I'm a Dom, not some psychopath. I'd never hurt. . . . " He paused as if he'd been about to say 'you.' "I'd never hurt my sub. We'd always use safe words."
"So if, um, your sub wanted you to stop, she could say stop or something like that?"
He shook his head. "No. A word like stop would never be used as a safe word. I like to use red and yellow. Red would obviously mean stop. Yellow, slow down and discuss how comfortable the sub is with what I want. That way she's free to say 'stop' or 'no' and I'm free to ignore it. It makes the illusion of control that much more sexually exciting for us both."
Illusion? Was he crazy? He was controlling her already. His mere words had her body throbbing, aching for release. Dani wanted to rip her clothes off and lay herself out on the bar like a buffet--a sacrifice. And then her mind cleared. A sacrifice. What was she thinking? There'd be no illusion of control if she played this man's game. If he decided to tie her up she'd be completely at his mercy. What if he ignored the safe words? She didn't know him. She needed her mind to be stronger than the place between her legs.
"Why don't we take that tour? It might be best if I just asked you questions as we go along."
John stepped up to her and held out his hand to help her down from the bar stool. She slid down and his free hand went to her waist to steady her. She wanted to lean into him but his hand held her firmly.
The phone rang again and broke the spell. John moved past her and his arm brushed along her breast as he did. Her nipple tingled.
"Bar None. What? Now? Yeah, sure. No problem."
Dani's heart dropped. She wasn't stupid. By the tone of his voice her tour was about to come to an abrupt end.
John hung up the phone, glanced at her and grimaced. "I hate to say this but. . . ."
"No tour today. I sort of figured by your conversation. Not that I meant to listen." Great. Now she wasn't getting the tour and she admitted to eavesdropping. He'd probably never let her back.
He shook his head. "Another reason to punish you. I may postpone our tour until I know you better. Let's start with e-mail and cell number." He pushed a piece of paper and pen across the bar toward her. I deleted your e-mail by accident. I'd like to set up another appointment, but I may be out of town for a day or two. I would rather give you the tour myself. You might find me a little less threatening than some of the others that work here."
If there was ever a threat to her shedding her panties, he stood on the other side of the bar. She hadn't had a reaction like this since. . . well, never. Dani picked up the pen and wrote. Dumb, dumb, dumb. You are going to end up fucking this man six ways to Sunday. That only made her hand shake more as she thought of his tongue, his mouth, his hands. She looked down at the paper. Her hand had shaken so much that the words looked like they'd been either written by a child or a geriatric invalid. She slid the paper back to him.
"I'll get back to you shortly, Dani. In the meantime you think about an apt punishment."
Her mouth hung open and a groan escaped.
"See, sooner or later you'll admit there's more to this than just research."
"No. Really. This is for a book I'm writing."
He nodded at her and then his eyes slowly perused her body. "Okay. So let me give you some homework. Write me a scene between a dom and a sub. The way you think it would be. . . . "
"But that's why I'm here. To find out because I have no idea."
"Dani, you're not listening. The way you think it would be. I'll read it and we'll discuss it. What's for the most part real and what seems too much like fantasy. You may surprise yourself. Can you have it written by tomorrow?"
"One small scene? Sure. Do you want me to e mail it?" she asked hoping she didn't sound too desperate.
"No. I'll e-mail or call you to see if it is ready. With my personal e-mail. Not the club e-mail. And Dani, when you write the scene, do it naked."
She laughed to break the thick sexual tension in the air. "Yeah, right. Anything you say."
"That's my good girl." The low growl of his voice set her pussy to throbbing.
Damn, how she itched to fuck this man.