Book IV of the Knights of the Board Room Series
Originally released November 2010; Re-released with new publisher/cover January 2016
Rachel gave up seeking a Master years ago. After a failed marriage and terrible tragedy, she’s walled her soul against going down that dangerous path again. Then Jon joins her yoga class. He’s thirteen years younger than she, but his Dominant nature threatens her shields from the moment she recognizes it. Not only does he understand what her body wants—he knows what her soul craves.
Part of the five-man executive team of Kensington & Associates, Jon uses his calm, philosophical nature to defuse volatile acquisition negotiations. He can compel opponents to willingly surrender when he draws the sword that closes the deal. As a sexual Dominant, he employs that same expertise. A spiritually driven Master who enjoys connecting with a woman’s soul, he wins her utter submission with his skills. But with Rachel, it goes beyond that. She’s the submissive his own soul has always hungered to have, and he won’t hesitate to use his talents, as well as that of the other four K&A men, to claim her.
© Copyright 2010 - All Rights Reserved
Background: Jon has come to Rachel's apartment after hearing she's had a traumatic experience at a local BDSM club. Up until now, she's managed to keep him at bay, making him believe she's married and not revealing her submissive nature. She is mortified not only that he knows that's a lie, but that he knows about her humiliating experience at the club. However, she's just finished crying in his arms and our excerpt picks up after that...
“For a year, you’ve kept me at arm’s length, making me believe something that’s untrue. I should have followed my intuition sooner, because I knew it didn’t fit. I asked you a question just now, and you lied to me as well. Rachel, look at me.”
His fingers dropped to her chin. When she couldn’t manage the motion herself, thinking of how swollen and blotched her face must look, no makeup, he forced her face up to meet his intent gaze.
“You won’t lie to me again. Do you understand?”
With that trace of steel in his voice, her reality shifted. She was standing in an open doorway, and he was ordering her across the threshold. Her trembling soul recognized it, even as the rest of her wasn’t yet brave enough to wrap her mind around it.
“Do you understand how to answer me, Rachel?”
She swallowed. She couldn’t. He didn’t know how often she’d stood here. Her dangerous decision to visit Club More had been evidence of what taking that step could do to her. There’d never been anything across that threshold except a sickening drop into disappointment, humiliation and a complete loss of self-worth. She was at the bottom of that well now, with nowhere left to go unless someone gave her a shovel to start digging. And she was terrified that was what this was.
He dropped his touch from her chin, but only to turn his hand over, offer it to her. When she placed her hand in it, his fingers closed over hers.
“I can’t, Jon. I’m afraid.”
“Good. An honest answer.” Tugging her off the bed, onto her feet, he walked backwards toward her bathroom, bringing her with him. As he studied her features, his serious mouth curved unexpectedly. “You have such thick lashes,” he said. “A doll’s lashes. And a mouth so soft and pink, it makes me think of your pussy, how soft and pink it must be.”
She swallowed at the words, so sensual and startlingly graphic at once. She knew men still looked at her as a sexual being, but there was a difference between recognizing it and letting it in. Responding rather than blocking it off or neutralizing it. Her reservations, all the reasons she shouldn’t be doing this, were going down the drain as if Jon had reached inside her and pulled that plug.
He switched their positions, so he was backing her over the bathroom tile, cold on her soles. Then she was on the lavender bath rug, which she scented with that herb so that the movement of her feet over the pile brought the aroma to her.
Stepping away from her, he nevertheless held onto her hands until their fingers were templed against one another. Sliding free, he turned her vanity chair around and straddled it to face her, his forearms crossed on the top and thighs braced out wide.
“Take off your clothes, Rachel.”
“You heard me.” That same tone of gentle steel and steady unwavering gaze. He was pushing that door open wide inside her and she lacked the ability to shut it, to refuse him. “Remove your clothes and get in the shower. Leave the door open. I want you to wash yourself thoroughly. Do you shave your pussy?”
When a doctor asked personal things, there was a clinical detachment to it that saved it from being inappropriately intimate. The way Jon was asking her this, it was in-the-deep-end-of-the-pool intimate, but his confidence made it appropriate, as if he had every right to demand answers. Her quaking stomach wasn’t disagreeing, even as her knees were beginning to wobble at what this was doing to her. As he’d proven already, this was normal for him. For her it was a dream, one that she’d had for so many years it had become a painfully obsessive addiction. Her breath was coming short again, and she reached out for the shower door to steady herself.
In an instant, he was back beside her, pressing her against the wall, holding her to him. “I’m sorry,” he murmured. “You’re so new to it, aren’t you, beautiful?”
“I’m hardly beautiful,” she managed. “Especially at the moment.”
He cupped her face in both hands, and he was so close. “Yes, you are. Now, back to my question. Do you shave your pussy?”
“I thought so. Some of the leotards you’ve worn are pretty form fitting.”
“You must have been straining your eyes.”
“What good is being around lots of women in snug clothing if you don’t look?” A glint of humor in those blue eyes gave her a shard of reassurance, then it broke into butterflies as he brushed her temple with his lips. “And since the teacher is the best looking one...”
She had a good amount of twenty-somethings in her classes, with figures much better than hers, but she decided she would believe him, just for a second. She wasn’t up to arguing.
“No more delaying. I want you to bathe and shave yourself.” Reaching in the shower, he turned on the hot water. She was leaning against his hip as he kept his other arm around her waist. His throat was within a breath of her mouth, so tempting. She closed her eyes to quell the urge, then opened them as he stepped out of reach again, only this time he leaned against the sink counter. “Clothes, Rachel,” he said firmly.
She swallowed. She couldn’t possibly, not while he was watching. “You know, formfitting or not, those leotards cover a lot of things.”
“I know. That’s why I want to see it all.” His gaze roamed over her then came back up. “Lower your gaze, Rachel. To your feet. You’ll keep your gaze down unless I give you permission to look at me. Now take off your clothes.”
Her stomach clutched at the order, delivered in that even, formidable tone. “Jon...”
“Obey me, beautiful. I promise it will be all right.”
Unbuttoning the flannel pajama top, she slid out of that so her hair brushed her bare shoulders. He could see her breasts, the pink tips drawn tight from the chill, though she wondered if it was also the heat of his regard affecting them. Pulling the drawstring loose on the bottoms, she let them drop so she was standing in her plain cotton panties and socks. Then she slid them off, balling them up and putting them in the hamper behind her. She turned toward the shower. She would not think about the fact she was standing naked in her bathroom, in front of Jon Forte. She would jump in the shower and—
“Stop. Put your hands behind your back, fingers laced, and spread your legs shoulder width apart.”
Her breath caught in her throat. It was a standard submissive pose, allowing the Master access to his slave however he wished. It made those butterflies in her stomach go wild, even as that throbbing tightness in her chest and throat started anew. It wasn’t real, it wasn’t true. It couldn’t be, because she’d wanted it for too long. She was playing a game that had already passed her by.
She shook her head, fumbled for the towel on the bar. “Jon, this isn’t going to work. I can’t—”
His hand closed over her wrist. His other hand wrapped in her hair, pulling at the scalp in a near painful way, though his movements remained calm, unhurried.
She wasn’t sure at first what he meant, but the pressure of his hand, moving to her shoulder, made it clear. She couldn’t resist him, and suddenly she was kneeling on the lavender carpet before him, his hand tethered in her hair keeping her up on her knees, her buttocks barely brushing her heels.
His fingers flexed. “Do you want to kneel to me, Rachel? Have you fantasized about it? Don’t think, just answer.”
“Yes.” Her throat was clogged with tears again.
“And what did you do when you were on your knees?”
“I...put my mouth on your... You put your c-cock in my mouth.”
“And what did you call me? What name did I demand you call me when you begged for more?”
Once again, it was stymied, too much debris washing in with the very thought. She couldn’t speak.
“Did you masturbate when you fantasized about me like that, Rachel?”
He’d let her have that one, a pass card. She got the feeling he wouldn’t give her another. “Yes.”
“And did you ask my permission to come?”
“Yes.” She licked her lips. He’d told her to keep her eyes down, but she was very aware that if she lifted her gaze she’d be staring right at his cock, beneath the fabric of his trousers. She wanted to see him hard and thick, swipe away the viscous fluid collected at the slit with her tongue.
You’re a fucking whore...
She flinched, pulling back from his touch. “No,” she said brokenly. “Please don’t.” Don’t ruin this.
“Rachel.” Jon was kneeling with her then, his hands on her bare shoulders even as she tried to get away from him, mortified, vulnerable beyond repair. “Ssshh. Listen to me. Hush and listen.”
She stopped only because it was clear he wasn’t letting her go, and he was far stronger and more determined. He had one knee on the carpet by her right knee and the other bent leg hemming in the opposite side.
“We have a long way to go, don’t we?” That firm mouth had a kind curve now, his eyes compassionate, but there was still an intensity there that told her it wasn’t the same as pity.
“You know that place of utter stillness, the one you find in meditation, during yoga?” When she managed a jerky nod, he continued. “It’s a place where you’ve let everything that burdens your mind free. All those thoughts, good or bad, peaceful or disturbing, can wander in and out of your mind like an open air room. You don’t try to hold onto anything. You let go of your will and simply be. Take a breath. Slow, even deep. Let it go.”
She managed it, though her fingers remained clutched on his forearm. Her gaze stayed on her knees, lowered as he’d demanded.
“You’ve been a submissive for a long time, haven’t you?”
He didn’t say, “you’ve wanted to be a submissive”. He acknowledged that she was one. He spoke it as truth, validating it, pulling back every doubt, fear, accusation and ugly word as if it were rusty barbed wire that had been bound around that part of herself. Now he was pulling the barbs out, making her bleed.
“Yes. I think so.” Her voice broke.
He put his mouth on the tear rolling down her cheek. It had reached the corner of her mouth, but she couldn’t turn her head, make it into a full kiss. She was paralyzed, not knowing what to do.
“Yes. You are. And as far as you’re concerned, from here forward, you are ‘one of mine’. You understand?”
She shook her head. “You never said what that means.”
“You know what it means.” He straightened up so she only saw his legs, clad in the tailored slacks. Despite his command, she couldn’t help letting her gaze lift when she saw he was loosening his tie further and unbuttoning his shirt. “It means I’m your Master and I’m going to take care of you, starting right now.”
As the buttons were slipped, pale marble skin was revealed. He had a light mat of black hair on his chest that artfully narrowed to that silken line over his striated abdomen and disappeared in his slacks. There would be a tangle of black coarse hair around his cock, a light layer over his heavy testicles, unless he shaved that area. Despite her words earlier, trying to push him away, this was a grown man, not a boy. And it was clear exactly which one of them held the reins.
“Didn’t I tell you to keep looking down?”
“Please, let me look.” The whispered plea came before she could stop herself. “I’ve wanted to look at you, for so long.”
As he rested his hands on his belt, her attention zeroed in on the diagonal lines of muscle at his waist. “You have looked at me, Rachel. You put me through hell, every time I’d catch you checking me out with those hungry eyes during class. I had to exercise some serious mind games to keep from reacting. Those cotton pants don’t hide much.”
“No, they don’t.” A tiny smile bloomed in her heart, then on her lips, surprising her. “Particularly during Sleeping Thunderbolt.”
He gave a snort at the reference to the muscle-straining yoga position. “Well, everything is wide awake now. This time, you may look. But only if you get into a submissive kneeling posture. Hands laced behind your head, ass on your heels, knees spread shoulder width apart.”
She complied, mouth dry once again. He didn’t give her long to look, moving around her, pausing outside of her range of vision. One fingertip drifted up her spine, a tingling sensation that made her shiver, arch.
“Better. Some Masters want the back ramrod straight. I like this, where your breasts are tilted up and there’s a strain in the muscles, keeping your mind focused. I want your mind only on my desire and will, nothing else. Until I release you, there’s nothing else but that. Understood?”
A pause. “I’ll let you get away with not addressing me properly for now, but only because I want the pleasure of hearing it come spontaneously from you the first time, when your mind truly lets go.”
She was thinking her mind had let go already, but she was willing to embrace the temporary insanity. When he stepped back in front of her, he unbuckled his belt, unhooked the trousers. She could already tell he was aroused, because the smooth pleated line of the linen was no longer smooth. She didn’t know a body could reach a starvation point so quickly, but it was a ravenous ache in her stomach, the strain in her thighs and arched back intensifying as he toed off his polished shoes, removed his socks with the slacks hanging low on his hips, the tongue of the belt hanging loose, the buckle making a faint clinking noise as he lithely bent to set the footwear aside. If he’d let her, she’d take down that zipper with her teeth, use the excuse to mouth him even through the cloth.
But apparently allowing her to look was as generous as he was getting right now. He slid the zipper down himself, hooked the snug boxers beneath and skinned them off at the same time so she saw the pale hip bone, the light layer of black silk over the pubic area. Then she saw his cock, hard and so remarkably virile a whimper came from her throat. Even if she couldn’t reach orgasm, she prayed for enough moisture to let that slide deep inside her. Maybe she could get a moment in the bathroom alone to slip some oil inside her, to be sure it would work…
Bare, muscular and beautiful, he was now standing in front of her. When he extended a hand to her, she couldn’t help that her fingers were still trembling. Heavens, she hadn’t stopped shaking since he’d come into her apartment, but it seemed to be getting worse now. Making a noise in his throat, he closed the warm strength of his hand around hers. He kept her on her knees with its pressure, a wordless communication. It reminded her of how he anticipated her yoga moves during class. He could be mute and still speak to her more eloquently than anyone she’d ever met.
Pure, painful, irresistible insanity.