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An Excerpt From: ANGELS, DEMONS AND DOMS
Copyright © CAROLINE MCCALL & EILEEN GORMLEY, 2012
All Rights Reserved, Ellora’s Cave Publishing, Inc.
“Oh dear lord.” Lexi Carter closed the book with a snap. If she got any hotter, she was going to melt. She was already regretting her offer to work late. She should be at home with a cold glass of white wine and a hot book, not stuck in an office where the air conditioning was broken. Her boss had promised someone would be available until nine, in case the East-Coast client wanted any last minute changes to the ad campaign. She glanced at her watch. She was stuck here for another two hours.
Lexi stood up, stretching her arms over her head. The white shirt, which had been pristine this morning, was now stuck to her back. She glanced down the row of glass partitions that made up Mackenzie Advertising. Every one of them was in darkness.
She toyed with the top button of her shirt. What the hell? No one else was here and the building opposite was in darkness. With nimble fingers, she opened the buttons and peeled off the shirt, tossing it over the back of her chair. She switched the desk fan on high, letting the humid air wash over her sweat dampened skin.
A low beep told her she had email. About time. She was dying to get out of here and into a nice cold shower.
It wasn’t from the client, just some more junk in her personal email box. That stupid modeling agency had done it again. No matter how many times she had told them that they had the wrong email address, that she wasn’t the Lexy Carter, they still sent the model’s e-mails to her. Lexi clicked on the email icon. Would Ms. Carter send them her exact measurements so that they could work on the alterations for the Leather and Latex fashion show?
Lexi was tempted to reply. She could just imagine the choked response on the other end if she told them her breasts had morphed into a curvaceous 38E cup and her ass would never see a size six again. Dear Fashion editor, I’ve been on a seafood diet—see food and eat it.
She couldn’t resist it. Lexi typed in her measurements and pressed send. Perhaps that would stop them sending her all those emails that made her feel life was passing her by before she got a chance to experience it.
Her computer beeped again. Another e-mail. This time thanking her for the measurements and including a link to the Hades website, in case Ms. Carter wanted some more guest tickets for the after-shoot party.
Hades—the hottest BDSM club in town. Membership was by invitation only. Lexi clicked on the link and her breath caught in her throat when she looked at the drawings of some of the outfits. The thong would cost more than she earned in a week and the soft, red-leather bustier would be made to measure by Rigby & Peller in London. She shuddered to think what the price tag on that must be.
Lexi glanced down at the twins peeking up at her from her lacy white bra. “You’d like one of those, wouldn’t you, girls?”
She could just imagine the faces of her colleagues in the office if she turned up at the next product launch wearing something like that. The cool, reserved Ms. Carter. What would her colleagues say if they knew what she was really like? That she had a wild side?
Her wild side hadn’t been let out to play for a while. She hadn’t been on a date since she had moved here eight months ago. Thirty nine had an ominous ring to it. She had celebrated that last birthday alone. Her birthday gift to herself had been a tattoo. She must have been out of her mind. The painted wings stretched from the center of her back and across her shoulder blades. She had been shocked but pleased when she caught her first glimpse of it in the mirror. It was a pity no one else had seen it.
Lexi eyed the screen again and gave a little shiver. Hades. Even the name sounded good. It gave her a thrill just to think about it. She felt wild and wicked, sitting half-naked in her office, looking at the website of a notorious BSDM club.
Sex with her ex-husband had always been vanilla. That had been part of the problem. Joe had never understood that she needed something more. She had tried to spice up their relationship, but he had barely noticed the naughty underwear. When she suggested tying her up or trying out some sex toys, he had looked at her with such a shocked expression on his face that she hadn’t dared to mention it again.
No, not only was he was a lying, cheating, no-good bastard who had an affair with his secretary, Joe was Mr. Five-minutes missionary position. Afterward he would roll over and go to sleep and she would be left lying awake, staring at the ceiling.
She bet it wouldn’t be like that at the club. There would be all sorts of things to try there. Dark, delicious things that would shock her ex-husband. She eyed the picture of a tattooed male on the Hades website. It was a pity that she could only see the lower half of his face. He was ripped, all hard abs and muscular arms. He could crush her, subdue her. Lexi leaned closer to the screen, trying to see the tattoo on his chest. The face of a small red devil with dark horns. Oh yes please. She wanted to go there. She wanted him. She wanted everything this man could give her.
They would hardly notice one extra guest at a such a big party, would they? Lexi entered her details and pressed send.
Sam Lincoln finished shading in the plans for the Heathcliffe House Children’s Hospice, and straightened up with a sigh of relief. He rotated his shoulders to relive the ache from hunching over his drafting table, and was surprised to see it was dark outside. The only light in his small office was the one pointed down at his work top.
Out of habit, he looked at the building opposite, hoping to catch a glimpse of Lexi Carter. He was sure he had worked out which one was her office.
Jackpot. It was lit up. There was someone in it, someone with Lexi’s distinctive curves. He looked again and almost swallowed his tongue. Holy fuck, she was undressing. Sam stood up and went to his window to get a better view.
Yes, she had taken off her conservative button-down shirt, and was wearing only a white lacy bra that showcased her magnificent breasts. His cock twitched as he watched her trying to cool down in front of a desk fan. He’d be happy to help her with that. Maybe lick the little beads of sweat from between her breasts or run an ice cube over her nipples until they peaked. Sam groaned. He’d always had a thing for curvy women with that air of confidence. When Lexi turned, he caught a flash of dark ink on her pale skin. And now to discover she was hiding a sexy tat under that stuffy suit she wore. Aw, come on, way to torment a guy.
He’d been trying to get Lexi to notice him for months. Every time he bumped into her at Starbucks, he tried to get into conversation with her. She was polite, answered direct questions, even said, “Sure” when he suggested they meet up for a drink, but never gave him any real encouragement. Although she had given him her number, Lexi hadn’t returned the one call he had made to her. Sam reached into the desk drawer for his digital camera and zoomed in on her.
He watched as Lexi ran her hands through her hair and lifted it off her neck, revealing the tat between her shoulder blades. An angel’s wings. Sam thought of the devil tat on his own chest. All of the Doms at Hades had tats. He wondered what Lexi would say if she could see it.
Sam sat down and watched her poke at her computer for a few minutes, but eventually, his possessive streak kicked in. He didn’t want anyone else looking at her. She clearly had no idea her blinds were open and she was giving a show to any horn dog who happened to be looking in her direction. He dialed her cell phone and she picked up on the second ring.
“Lexi Carter?” he said.
“Yes?” She sounded a little nervous as if he had caught her doing something she shouldn’t.
Just to tease her, he dropped his voice. “Lexi, you’ve been a bad girl tonight, haven’t you?”
There was silence on the other end of the phone for so long that he had plenty of time to realize how he was screwing up. He was about to apologize when a tentative voice said, “Um, yes, I have. You must be calling from Hades…?”
Sam sat upright so quickly he almost dropped the phone. He focused his lens on her, trying to make out her expression. Then he saw the computer screen behind her. It was open at the Hades website and his old photograph. It was the only photo shoot he had ever done and now the delicious Lexi was staring at him.
Sam scrabbled for the phone, gripped it tightly and said, “Do you know what we do to bad girls at Hades, Lexi?”
“No. I mean , I only wanted—” She sounded defiant. And hopeful?
“No, what?” It wasn’t a question, it was a demand.
A pause. “No Sir.”