Kira glanced at the man whom her clients wanted her to interrogate. Her first impression was that he was tall and muscular, but he wasn't really much bigger than average. Although undoubtedly strong, he had a leanness and grace to his body that kept him from looking too severe. He was dressed in casual blue jeans and a T-shirt, but his feet were completely bare. Apparently he'd been picked up right out of his home.
As always, her clients had followed her instructions to the letter and kept him bound and blindfolded. A guard stood to either side of him, and each held one of his arms as they forced him to walk toward the large bed that occupied most of the room. She had designed this particular chamber herself--a masterpiece of black and red that matched her flowing robes and the canopy above the bed.
"Make sure he's secure," she told the guards. They began to bind her new captive to the mattress. She turned toward the two men in suits who were paying for her services. "You already know my fee, gentlemen. I trust you've wired the money to my account."
They both lifted an eyebrow in unison, and the redhead with the beard opened a small computer. Leaning closer, she glanced at the bank number on the screen and nodded. A nice, plump sum was now ready and waiting for her.
"His name is Dixon Hazard," the second man explained. In her experience, he always got right to the point. "He's a political activist who likes to stick his nose where it doesn't belong. Recently, he and his friends got a hold of some files that could jeopardize the careers of several high-ranking government officials. We need those files back."
"So you want me to find out where he's hidden the files?" she clarified.
To her surprise, they shook their heads.
"We already know his accomplices have them. A man named Elliot Faulk appears to be in charge, but we've been unable to locate him. All you have to do is find out where Mr. Hazard's friends are hiding, and we'll take care of the rest."
The satin mask concealing the top of her face rose ever so slightly when she smiled, and she knew her teeth looked very white against her rich, crimson lipstick.
"Of course, gentlemen," she said obligingly. "I'll start right away."
They both gave her a single nod before retreating through the door. With the prisoner now tied spread-eagle to the bed, the guards hurried to follow their employers. The restraints holding the man down had been custom-made to her specifications, so Kira had no concerns about him getting away. He was all hers now, and she was happy to be left alone with him.
"Hello, Mr. Hazard." As she moved toward the captive, she fell into her role as Dominique with an ease that came from years of practice. "I'm so glad you could join me."
When she reached the foot of the bed, she put her hand on the man's ankle and slid it all the way up to his thigh. He tensed beneath her wandering palm, but he didn't say a word of protest. Kira was pleased to find her new prisoner in such good shape. He couldn't have been older than his early thirties, and his muscles felt large and toned beneath his denim jeans and smooth, tanned skin. His hair was short and extremely dark blond, and from what she could see of his features, he appeared very handsome. She pulled off his blindfold to find a pair of light brown eyes staring back at her.
Blinking to bring the room into focus, Hazard gazed uncertainly at the woman in front of him. She appeared to be in her late twenties, and her features were fair and delicate. Even with the mask, he could tell her eyes were pale blue, and her lips were lush and full beneath her small nose. Giving her the once-over, he was pleased to see that her figure was lithe and trim, but still soft and curvy enough to turn him on. He was more than a little surprised.
"You're not what I expected," he blurted out. This couldn't possibly be the woman his captors had been talking about.
After he'd been caught, Hazard had heard enough to gather that he was being taken to some kind of sadistic female torturer--a cliche from the old spy movies. Although this woman certainly looked dangerous and seductive with her long ebony hair and black-and-red robe, there was something in her eyes that belied the image. He just couldn't believe she planned to hurt him.
"Who are you?" He tested his bonds with a hard pull, but the snug bands didn't budge. "What's your name?"
She appeared amused. "I have many names," she answered far too sweetly. "I often go by Dominique, if that suits you."
"And if it doesn't?" He was still trying to assess the situation.
The corners of her mouth twitched up ever so slightly. "Then you may call me the boss."
Despite himself, Hazard laughed. This "Dominique" was tall and sexy and had all the right moves, but she was hardly tough enough to hold the title of "boss." He just couldn't figure out what kind of game she was playing.
"Do you know where to find your friend, Elliot Faulk?" she asked as she climbed onto the bed.
She kneeled so close that her thigh brushed against the side of his leg, and the casual contact sent a spark of awareness through him. Her body was warm, and he could just make out a faint flowery scent coming off her skin.
Caught between wariness and amusement, he returned an honest nod. "As a matter of fact, I do."
That made her smile. "Care to tell me where he is?"
"Not likely," Hazard responded with another laugh. He was actually starting to like this woman, and the sight of her in bed with him was giving him some interesting ideas. "How about you let me go so we can discuss you and me instead?"
"You and me?" She looked surprised for a moment, but then her grin widened. "And just what do you think we should discuss? We don't even know each other."
"Maybe I'd like to get to know you," he suggested. "After all, we're already in bed together."
She blinked her eyes in a way that was reminiscent of a jungle cat, but her red lips remained upturned as she released an airy laugh.
"Nice try," she said very softly, "but perhaps I'd better explain the rules."
Climbing off the mattress, she headed toward a small bedside table. What appeared to be a pair of scissors, some wipes, and several bottles of colorful liquid were sitting neatly on top. She grabbed the scissors.
"You know, Dixon," she said, returning to his side. She paused. "May I call you Dixon?"
His eyes never left the shiny instrument in her hand. "I prefer Hazard," he told her more warily, "although a few people call me Dix."
Her grin widened. "Hazard. I like that. It suits the situation too, doesn't it? You're definitely in a dangerous position at the moment."
"I'm beginning to realize that," he answered with a gulp. "What do you intend to do?"
Now that she had a weapon, she didn't look quite so harmless, and he had to wonder what she was planning on snipping. If he'd been able to move freely, he might have tactfully closed his legs right about now.
"I'm glad you asked," she purred. "I was just about to explain that to you." She ran her hand down his left arm to his sleeve. "You see, I've been hired to get information out of you in exchange for a large sum of money." The cold edge of the scissor made him tense as she brushed it against the sensitive skin of his underarm. "You've just said that you're not very likely to tell me what I want to know, so I must find a way to motivate you."
The scissor opened with a hushed scrape and then came down on the cloth of his sleeve. Obviously very sharp, it sliced effortlessly through the thin material. She grazed him harmlessly as she continued to cut her way down his side and across his chest, and then she had his shirt opened entirely.
"The arrangement is quite simple," she told him.
She pulled the tattered garment away and absently ran her hand over his bare chest. Despite his predicament, her gentle touch made him shiver in anticipation. He tensed when she slowly circled his nipple with one delicate finger.
"It is?" He pulled at his bonds again.
She smiled and nodded. Moving down to the foot of the bed, she grasped his right ankle and began to cut her way up the outside of his pants.
"You tell me what I want to know," she explained, "and I'll give you what you want. That's easy enough, isn't it?"
He was temporarily distracted as he watched her hack her way up and across to his zipper. His gaze remained anxiously fixed on his crotch, but he reluctantly nodded.
"It certainly sounds easy," he admitted, "but somehow I doubt you'll really give me what I want. I won't betray my friends by telling you where they are, and we both know you don't intend to set me free."
She was silent for a moment as she sliced open his other pant leg, but she looked up at him through her lashes.
"The first is negotiable," she told him smoothly. "You'll tell me what I want to know as soon as I convince you to do so. As for the second, that won't be what you want."
Despite the gravity of the situation, Hazard scoffed. "You don't think I want to be set free?"
She shook her head. "You certainly do right now, but when I'm done with you, that won't be what you want most."
He immediately sobered, although he made sure to fill his voice with far more bravado than he felt. "You think to make me beg for death?" Unfortunately, if she was about to castrate him, then she might very well be right.
"Only a little death," she taunted him with a smirk.
Tugging hard, she freed him from the rest of his clothes, leaving him completely exposed. He was pleased the air in here was warm enough to keep him comfortable, and the bed beneath him was soft. Even so, he didn't like where this was going.
With just a wave of her hand, she dimmed the overhead lights to a mellow glow and made several candles spring to life. It was the first time he'd ever seen psychokinesis, and it caused a jolt of fear to rush through him.
"You have psychic ability," he whispered, feeling his heart pound.
Before his grandfather's time, no one had believed such talent really existed, but such gifted people had since come forward with proof. There were rumored to be hundreds of psychics living in the area now, but he'd only run into a few of them. They were the typical tarot-card readers--powerful in their way, but hardly dangerous. He was starting to believe maybe the same couldn't be said for the mysterious "Dominique."
"Are you a mind reader?" If she was, then there was no way he could keep his secret. She'd pluck the information directly from his brain.
To his relief, she shook her head.
"That would be very convenient," she admitted, "but I'm afraid not. You see, I'm a very unusual sort of psychic."
Very gently, she scraped her fingernails across his bare thighs. As he glanced down, he noticed she was wearing blood-red nail polish, which for some reason struck him as incredibly erotic. He realized he was in trouble when he started to get a hard-on.
"Besides some basic telekinesis," she went on, "I seem to have a flare for controlling certain portions of other people's anatomies. Would you like to hazard a guess as to which portion I'm referring to?"
Looking down the length of his body, he could see his flushed cock standing between him and the woman kneeling between his legs. He was finally starting to understand the true extent of his peril.
"So what are you going to do?" he snapped breathlessly. "Screw me to death?"