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Gripping the doorknob, I softly opened the door. My gaze flickered around the room first, taking in the scene that Ilya had set—soft shadows cast in the glow of candles, scenting the room heavily with vanilla, an intricate display of silk scarves and feathers and blindfolds laid out on an antique trunk that I myself had purchased for the club. Lilting music danced softly in the air. Altogether a far more romantic scene than I would have set, and my need for control grumbled for a moment, protesting that I’d walked into someone else’s scene.But then I saw her, and a bright, unexpected flash of pleasure snapped through me, pulling tight in my veins. She knelt on the bed, facing away from me, knees braced on the silken sheets. Her hair, a long cascade of gold that fell halfway down her back, was streaked through with pink. Her body mimicked the shape of an hourglass, making my hands instantly itch to touch.Best of all? The back of her bright blue dress dipped low enough to show the delicate curve of her spine, which was lavishly adorned with ink.Not the kind of woman I would have chosen for myself at all… and yet the knife edge of pleasure told me that, with the past weighing so heavily on my mind tonight, this—she—was exactly what I needed.My irritation at Ilya dissipated as I stepped into the room, letting the door shut behind me loudly. Deliberately. I noted the shiver that passed over the woman’s skin as the sound echoed throughout the room, and I savored the reaction.No, this woman definitely wasn’t what I’d wanted. But the anticipation swirling through the room told me that just maybe she was going to be what I’d need.I chose to remain silent, knowing that the anticipation of uncertainty would increase the woman’s potential pleasure. And though I hadn’t expected it, hearing her breath quicken made the dark pleasure I craved so much gather in my gut.I always enjoyed my time with a woman. The fairer sex was sweet, soft, delicious—what wasn’t to love?But it was rare indeed to find that flicker of true desire. More rare still to experience it at first sight.I owed Ilya a case of the Russian vodka he so greatly prized.All thoughts of following the routine I usually used with neophytes fled my mind as I crossed the room. Still remaining silent, I crawled onto the bed behind where she’d seated herself. Rising to my knees, I took a handful of that rose gold hair and tugged gently. She gasped, tilting her head automatically to get a look at my face.Remaining silent, I redirected her gaze to the window with another tug. The glass framed a watery reflection, dimmed further by the pale blue hue of twilight—a ghostly version of the potential intimacy playing out in the room.In that image, she could have been anyone, as could I.It was fucking hot.
Lauren Hawkeye/ Lauren Jameson never imagined that she’d wind up telling stories for a living… though when she looks back, it’s easy to see that she’s the only one who is surprised. Always “the kid who read all the time”, Lauren made up stories about her favorite characters once she’d finished a book… and once spent an entire year narrating her own life internally. No, really. But where she was just plain odd before publication, now she can at least claim to have an artistic temperament.
Lauren lives in the Rocky Mountains of Alberta, Canada with her husband, toddler, pit bull and idiot cat, though they do not live in an igloo, nor do they drive a dogsled. In her nonexistent spare time Lauren can be found knitting (her husband claims that her snobby yarn collection is exorbitant), reading anything she can get her hands on, or sweating her way through spin class. She loves to hear from her readers!