Have you ever wanted to put yourself in the hands of a man whose sole purpose is to give you pleasure?
The words flashed across Morgan O’Malley’s laptop screen. She sucked in a sharp, shocked breath. She’d met this man in an online chatroom less than three minutes ago. How could he know that?
He must have guessed, had to have guessed. She hadn’t told him anything about herself, not one single thing, except her name and the fact she wanted to interview him for her cable TV show.
But even through her stunned silence, he kept peeling back the layers of her secrets.
Do you want a man to see inside you, all the way to your fantasies, the darkest ones you don’t even tell your friends about, and make every one of them come true?
A surge of arousal coiled in her belly. Her palms began to sweat. Morgan swallowed hard.
In the silent living room shadowed with the many colors of dusk, Morgan squirmed on the black leather sofa, shoving desires she didn’t dare admit to the back of her mind.
This was business. He was business. It wasn’t a good idea to have the hots for the next interview subject for her show. It might be late-night cable talk, but Turn Me On was her job, her brainchild, her little rebellion. . . her life.
Besides, aching for a guy whose real name she didn’t even know, whose face she’d never seen—whose lifestyle she shouldn’t even ponder—was just dumb.
So, Master J, is that what a dominant does? she typed in response, determined to keep the conversation light. Dish out fantasies?
One of the things, he responded at length. But that would be oversimplifying the relationship. His most important goal is to earn his partner’s trust. Trust is important in any relationship, but especially in one involving Dominance/submission. Without that, how can a woman freely put herself in a man’s care and know that her well-being and safety will always be first? How can she know her master will understand her so he can make her every wicked fantasy come true?
Dominance wasn’t just about tying someone to the bed and screwing them into the mattress? Surprise wrinkled Morgan’s brow. Trust, care, understanding—she had to admit, that all sounded like a fantasy in itself. Certainly, she’d been lacking those qualities in her relationship with her ex-fiancé, Andrew, especially the understanding.
Trust allows a woman to connect with the primitive part of her that craves the utter surrender of being at her master’s mercy, despite not knowing if plans for her involve pleasure, pain, or both.
Morgan couldn’t deny that Master J intrigued her even more now than when one of the production assistants, Reggie, had given her his bio.
Toggling to her email, she opened the bio she’d been given and scanned it again.
A member of the BDSM and D/s scene for nearly ten years, Master J is experienced in all facets, but continues to learn. He owns a personal security company and has been bodyguard to senators, international diplomats, and athletes. A West Point graduate, he also served in military Special Forces as a team leader before being honorably discharged.
Morgan clicked the email closed. The paragraph revealed a lot about the man whose words made her shiver with dark fantasies. Self-discipline, honor, strength. Yet the blurb said very little at the same time. Who was this guy? Could he really bind and tease a woman into making her beg?
Morgan? Her name flashed across the screen. You still there?
Sorry. Just thinking. Clearly, I have a lot to learn about in order to do the show properly. I guess I thought it was all about velvet ropes and handcuffs.
It’s about that, too. ?
She laughed, pushing down the ache curling in her belly…and lower. A little curiosity didn’t make her depraved. Definitely not. It was just interesting to see how the other half lived.
But it’s also an exchange of power and trust, he typed. A woman chooses to give her master dominion over her body and her mind. She surrenders her flesh and free will to anything and everything he desires.
What sort of surrender? a voice inside of her demanded to know. A thousand dark images pushed themselves into her brain from the depths of her fantasies: her kneeling to this stranger’s cock, him ordering her to spread her legs wide so he could simply look at her, her bound to his bed as he prepared to take whatever he wanted.
Disturbed by the shocking turn of her thoughts, she shook them away. And ignored her rapid breathing.
Lots of people had bondage fantasies at one time or another, she’d read. Having one or two herself was normal, no matter what Andrew said.
Morgan squirmed against the leather cushions again, ignoring any extra moisture between her legs.
But a D/s relationship is also about a lot more, Master J typed.
How do you put someone in manacles, blindfolds, and dark rooms, but still earn their trust? How do you develop an emotionally gratifying relationship when one person has all the power?
It’s not like that.
Morgan’s gaze stayed riveted to her screen as she waited for more. For a long, silent moment, she held her breath…but nothing. Master J wasn’t going to reply further. Just like in the bedroom, she supposed. He had the power to give or withhold.
Finally, a longer reply appeared in the little chatroom window.
Sorry, but I’ve had an urgent call. Have to go. If you feel I have the background to assist with your show, let’s meet. I’ll answer your questions then. Someplace public, so you don’t worry I might be a serial killer luring you into danger. I can talk faster. I’ve mastered a lot, but not typing . I still hunt and peck.
Morgan scuttled her impatience. Not hard when the man made her smile at his jokes.
I understand, she answered. Can we meet tomorrow at 3? I Googled and found a place that seems to be popular there in Lafayette called La Roux. Know where that is?
Cher, I’m a native. I know every crack in the sidewalk around here.
Morgan smiled and typed, Cher? I’m not that tall or old enough to have had a singing career since the 60s!
LOL. It means dear in French, he translated. I’m Cajun, so I grew up speaking the language.
Morgan read his reply and ignored the little flutter in her belly. Flirtation was a French thing, and he’d been raised with the culture. It was as natural to him as breathing, no doubt.
I’ve lived in Los Angeles too long, I guess. I’ll see you then?
You will. How will I know you? Lots of pretty girls in Louisiana. I want to make sure I reveal my innermost secrets to the right one.
He was a charmer, Morgan bet. He’d have to be with his interest in wielding whips and chains. Certainly, most “normal” women would run screaming in the opposite direction at the thought of a little pain and a lot of obedience with their sex.
I’ll be wearing a straw hat, sunglasses, and a big, boxy coat, she answered.
Sounds more like a disguise, Master J returned.
He had no idea. And she wasn’t advertising the fact she had a stalker. Morgan only hoped the reason she needed a disguise would be caught and start rotting in hell soon.
See you tomorrow, she jotted back.
The message on her screen told her moments later that Master J had left the private chatroom. With a sigh, she moved to close the chatroom window.
Her hand trembled. No, her whole body trembled, despite the heat snaking under her skin.
She was tired, that’s all.
Tired doesn’t make you ache in very personal places, the voice in her head taunted. Tired doesn’t make you wet.
“Tired makes me hear pesky voices in my head,” she grumbled.
She tried to push Master J, the man, aside and focus on the questions she’d ask him tomorrow. The show’s outline had to be in soon, and she wanted to be prepared to launch her second season with a bang. Already, she had a growing cult following. With the right material, the show could skyrocket.
Which meant she had to keep her eye on the prize and focus on work.
But after ten minutes of staring at an empty screen, Morgan admitted that Master J wouldn’t leave her mind. What was it about him?
Other than the fact he lives out the fantasies you’ve ached about?
Morgan shook her head, determined to ignore the maddening little voice. She was curious, not deviant. No matter what Andrew said or her mother would think.
With a sigh, she reached for the phone and dialed the number of the production assistant in Los Angeles.
“Reggie,” she said when he answered. “Hey, I talked to this Master J guy you hooked me up with and I read his bio. I’m meeting him tomorrow. What’s his scoop? Learn anything new?”
“Yeah,” returned the older man, his voice scratchy from his two-pack-a-day habit. “I did some calling around Louisiana, asked people at bondage clubs if they’ve ever heard of him, just to make sure he’s legit. He checks out. ”
That was a relief—but it wasn’t. Reggie had quickly become like a surrogate father to her, and she trusted him. But ignoring her curiosity about Master J would have been much easier if Reggie hadn’t been able to vouch for him. If only she could have written him off as another crackpot who wanted to talk about sex on TV.
Morgan bit her lip. . . but her inquisitive nature won out. “What did everyone say about him?”
“A bunch. He’s casual, not heavy into the lifestyle, but fairly regular at a few clubs. Apparently, he has a way with women and a reputation to go with it. More than one person I talked to said that he could make Mother Teresa beg to be tied down and fucked. He definitely wants a woman submissive. Hey, you’re not interested, are you?”
“What?” Morgan’s heart skipped a handful of beats. “Me? No!” She scoffed. “Why would I want a bully who gets off on making a woman feel inferior?”
“You sure?” Reggie sounded skeptical.
“Do I seem like the type to get into this sort of stuff?” she countered.
Reggie said nothing. Distress coiled through Morgan.
A rattling of the lock at the front door had Morgan’s head zooming in the other direction. She sighed with relief when her half-brother, Brandon, shouldered his way inside.
“Gotta go,” she told Reggie. “I’ll call you after I’ve talked to this guy tomorrow. ”
“Hey, little sister,” Brandon greeted as she hung up.
Shoving the conversation with Reggie out of her mind, she rose and stepped up on tip toe to hug him. “Hi. Good day?”
His aristocratic mouth pursed into a frown. “Not exactly. I have to go to Iraq for the next three weeks. ”
Surprise, and if Morgan was honest, trepidation punched her in the stomach. “Iraq? I thought you sat behind a desk most of the time. ”
“Mostly, but there are exceptions. ”
“Oh, wow… Why Iraq?”
“Classified. ” He gave a bitter laugh. “You know the drill… I can’t say where I’ll be and what I’ll be doing. I won’t be near a phone or computer for most of the time. Morgan, I don’t want to leave you. It’s dangerous, and I know you’re afraid. ”
She swallowed. Brandon had already done so much by taking her in, despite Daddy Dearest’s ire, protecting her from the scum who stalked her. She was afraid, but she couldn’t let Brandon feel guilty for doing his job.
“I’ll be fine. ” She’d think of something—she had to. “I’m busy with work. It’ll be fine. ”
“If anything happens, I think you should call Dad. ”
Morgan gaped at him, holding in a sarcastic scoff. “He may be your dad. He’s my biological father—the one who’s been denying I exist for the last twenty-five years. ”
Brandon sighed. “Morgan, you know how it is with politics, especially in the south. If people knew he’d had a fling with a barely-legal volunteer while he had a wife and three little boys at home. . . ”
“I know it would ruin the senator from the great state of Texas. ”
“They’re talking about a bid for the White House in 2012. ” Sympathy and regret tangled on his attractive face.
“Exactly why I can’t call him. Not that he’d take my call, anyway. ”
“He would if you were in danger. Dad can protect you. ”
Morgan had her doubts but said nothing. “Too bad we can’t just tell him I’m your fiancée. It’s working with everyone else. ”
“Hmm. If our actual relationship ever came to light, we’d have to admit to incest or lying. Not fun choices. ”
“Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that. I don’t think my sick stalker knows I’ve left L. A. , so he has no idea where to find me. ”
Nodding, Brandon started to sift through the day’s mail. When he came to a big manila envelope, he frowned. “Does anyone know you’re here in Houston?”
Other than Master J, whom she’d met online all of fifteen minutes ago, Reggie, and a few close friends back home? “No. ”
Anxiety thundered across Brandon’s face. “Someone here knows you. This was in the mailbox. No name, no postage. It was hand-delivered. ”