Sunday, November 4, 2012

Take Off Your Panties. Do It. Now. For Me. - Part One

Show Me, Sir
Book Two - Part One

Max Wells is a ball-busting, ass-kicking testament to female empowerment, who’s yet to meet the person who can push her down.
Until she meets a man she only knows as Sir.
Shamelessly deviant, Hayato knows exactly what Max thinks of Dominants like him. So ready to dismiss his lifestyle, she’s the type to assume she knows everything about it and him after one cursory glance from the outside in. But, looking at Max—at her intelligence and passion—he can see more in her than the misconceptions she’s deliberately blinding herself with.
And, determined, he plans to show her more.
Max finds herself fascinated by this man who insists on challenging her every belief as he leads her into his world of dark desires. Matching his clash of wit, will, and seduction, Max begins to question all she knows about what it means to be empowered. 
Used to being unquestionably on top, Hayato is intrigued by Max's formidable delight in playing games and striking deals that shifts his usual power dynamics as they negotiate roles and rewrite rules.
But, just as their game heats up, it gets used against them. Seeking to punish them with their play, someone threatens to drag their private lives out into the public spotlight. 
With high stakes and bitter scandal looming over their heads, Max and her Sir will have to work together to show that what the world thinks they are does not define who they are.




I want my goddamned file!”

He looked up from his monitor as Max stormed through his office’s main door, Elin trailing behind her.

I’m sorry, sir,” Elin apologized, still trying to get ahead of Max’s long, determined strides. “I told her that you were very busy today and that she’d need to make an appointment, but—”

It’s all right,” he told her. “Call Werther and push our meeting until three and reschedule the office meeting for tomorrow. Thank you, Elin.”

Yes, sir,” she said, leaving quickly.

After the doors shut, he turned to face Max’s sneering face. “It must be an enormous ego-stroke for you to have an assistant who calls you sir,” she snarled.

It’s just a word,” he said with a dismissive shrug, knowing that to a woman like Max it was much more. “I don’t require or demand it from Elin. It’s her choice to address me that way.”

At least you gave her a choice, Mr. Hayato,” she spat back. “Now, I want my file—the original copy and any other copies you might have made. I want all history of me wiped from your records. And,” she added with a spitfire swish of her head, “if you can manage it, Mr. Hayato, I’d love it if you and your little club disappeared completely, if not from the face of the Earth than at least from my life. Think you can manage that?”

He smiled, admiring the glitter in her eyes and the glow of her skin that all that violent anger lent her. It was an unforgivable cliché, but she was stunning when she was angry. “Maxine,” he chided, knowing he was tempting more of her ire, “you needn’t to be so formal.” He smiled as he saw—heard—her grind her teeth. “After what we’ve done together” —and all the things we’ll do, he added to himself— “you don’t have to call me Mister.”

Well,” she shot back, planting balled, meticulously manicured fists against full, sensual hips encased in a stiff, molded skirt, “I don’t know what to call you, since you won’t tell me your first name.”

His grin widened as he let his gaze travel down the tailored length of her skirt, down shapely legs, and all the way up again to her gloriously furious face. “I told you what you could call me.”

She gave a derisive, unladylike snort. She stepped back, altering her defensive stance into something more aggressive as she crossed her arms under her buttoned-down breasts, held down and held captive by a pretty, professional jacket. “If I understand BDSM guidelines,” she said, her voice taking on the icy chill of logic and tempered tone of debate, “the title Sir is reserved for tops or Doms used by their bottoms.” It was wrong that her tight, tense, cold voice, that strove to conceal all her fire, made him so hot. “It’s not a label tossed out lightly. You have to earn that title.” Her cold eyes flashed fierce and hard. “I have to agree to it.”

His lips twitched as he fought the urge to grin. Instead, he sat back in his chair, leaning against the soft, cushioned back. “I hesitate to point out,” he drawled, “that you did indeed say that you belonged to me. That you were mine.”

Do you belong to me?” he’d asked her that night in the club. “Speak.”

Yes.” So soft. A weak whisper of sound.

Yes what?” he’d pushed, the feel of her skin—the delicate length of her neck held tight in his grasp—making him hot and hard.

Yes,” she’d said, the sound reluctant, but resigned, “I’m yours. Sir.”

He’d wanted so much to fuck her right then and there at those words.

He wanted to again just at their memory.

I didn’t mean it,” Max hissed testily as she glared at him from across his desk, much of her cool reserve melting, “and you know it. It was a completely irrelevant statement, made under duress. It was either you or a night with Rand.” She sniffed. “If I’d known how difficult you were going to be, I would have made a different decision.” She made a small, almost inaudible sound of female impatience. “I swear a single night with that caveman—no matter how tawdry or how fucked-up it would undoubtedly have been—would have been easier than dealing with you.”

He gave a short, thoroughly amused laugh. “I’m sure a night with Rand would have been many things,” he said, as he eyed—studied and imagined—her body and all the secret possibilities it held, “but—or so I’ve been told—easy would not have been one of them.”

She huffed, her nostrils flaring as she glared dark and stormy eyes at him. “I want to know your name,” she demanded.

He smiled, still remembering their first encounter. “I like the way Sir sounds from your lips.” Loved the way the word tumbled from her mouth like instinct, unwilling but ingrained.

He saw her fists flex as she fought the urge to growl. He wished she wouldn’t fight so hard, wished that she would unleash herself. “There must be something else I can call you other than Sir.”

Master?”

It was slight and he almost didn’t see it, but he glimpsed the briefest blink of amusement flicker across her face. She tilted her head at a mocking angle. “How about milord or your excellency?” she said with jibbing rigidity as she dropped into a scathing curtsy.

He laughed. “If you prefer,” he replied with a matching bow of his head before he shrugged off her disdain. “It’s just a title, Max. Just a name. A relatively harmless one at that. We use it every day in polite parlance. Is it really worth all this trouble? All this fight?”

———

Fine! Max thought, ready to tear out her hair.

What did it matter to her anyway? she thought as she calmly ran her hands over her carefully coiffed hair. It wasn’t as if she was going to see him ever again.

And he was right. She called strangers sir and ma’am all the time. And, narrowing her gaze at the live-action anime man, she knew this guy was certainly stranger than most.

Besides, she thought, maybe it would put a nice distance between them. Maybe if she started treating him like the stranger—the anonymous no one—he was, being with him would feel less intimate.

So, fine. If he wanted to act the arrogant ape-man, that was just ducky with her. “I want my file now,” she repeated through gritted teeth, “sir.”

He smiled, tapping a thoughtful finger over his thin, smirking lips, as an unease rolled over her. She did not like that look. Didn’t like the tickled, rumbling laughter that accompanied it. She didn’t know what it meant, but she knew it couldn’t be good.

I’ll tell you what,” he finally said, “for that, I’ll give you a page of the file.”

A page? “A page?” she balked. “No, I want my file—the whole thing—and I want it now.”

He tsked. “We’ve been through this,” he said. “The file is about you,” he repeated with a shake of his head, “but it’s not yours.”

Oh, he wanted to play, did he? Well then, she thought, let’s play. “If you don’t give it to me right now, lawyer-boy,” she scolded, using her most imperious tone—the one that made her interns quake, “I’m going to bring in my own attorney and—”

And what, Max?” he asked, interrupting her. “Make a case out of this? Making your file not just my property but evidence as well? Is that really what you want?” He settled back, steepling his finger thoughtfully. “I’m fairly well-established as an unscrupulous member of the seedy underbelly, a dirty-pool defender of the less than sterling sect of society. My reputation won’t be affected should this become public.” His hard, almost gleeful gaze bore into hers. “Can you say the same?”

She growled, the sound strangled and choked in her tight throat.

They both knew the answer to that.

No.

If that file—if the fact that she belonged to a club like Donovan’s, however momentarily and unwillingly—became public knowledge, she’d not only be deeply embarrassed, she’d be ruined. How could she expect anyone to take her seriously as an advocate and editor of feminist erotica if she had ties to a club that used and degraded women as mere sex objects so unabashedly? She wouldn’t just be fired, she’d be laughed out of the industry.

No, legal recourse was an empty threat and they both knew it. Her hands were judicially tied. She couldn’t force him to give her anything without attracting unwanted attention she couldn’t afford. Max pressed a finger to her throbbing temple. Well, shit. She shut her eyes, squeezing them shut.

This is blackmail,” she accused.

She jumped when she felt his hands touch her from behind, wrapping gently—almost comfortingly—around her shoulders. “No, this is a compromise,” he said in a soothing tone.

Still trying to swallow her surprise—she hadn’t even heard him move—she forced herself to breathe and think. “What kind of compromise?” she asked, suspicion making her tense.

He sighed and dropped his hands, his disappointment in her dousing her doubts. “A fairly simple one,” he stated in a brisk, business-like tone that she knew he adopted for her sake. She softened a bit, appreciating his effort. “There are twenty-six pages in your original file, plus a digital copy kept in the system. I’m offering an even trade, a favor for a page.”

And the digital copy?” Max asked, wanting to fully understand his deal before countering.

The same?”

Not a chance,” she said. “I don’t want to do one favor for you, you think I’m going to agree to fifty-two?”

I like a woman with quick math wits; too many people need calculators for simple addition,” he said with a smirk. “What if the digital file counts as half?” he asked. “Thirteen favors. Plus the original twenty-six makes thirty-nine.”

No deal,” she argued. “The digital file takes a right click of the mouse to delete. It shouldn’t count as a favor at all.”

And the whole file is a shredder-feed away from non-existence,” he stated.

Exactly,” she stated, with a decisive wave of her hand. “It’s such an easy fix for you; why make this difficult—why prolong it—when it’d be easy for you to just end it?” Then he’d be out of her way, she’d be out of his, and the world could go back to the way it was before.

Because this isn’t about effort,” he told her sagely, “it’s about worth. And you’ve made it very clear that you value this file very much.” Folding his own arms across his chest, he asked with a cocky tilt of his head, “So, Max, how much do you want it?”

Deliberately ignoring the innuendo liberally laced in his words, she sniffed and focused on making the deal. “The digital file is worth one favor,” she said. “One click, one favor. Fair?”

He shifted in his chair, excitement—and something hotter—sparking in his eyes as he watched her. “Strictly speaking, it takes three clicks—a right, a left, and an okay—to delete the file. Three clicks, three favors. Fair?” he tossed back.

She sighed. “Done.” She could accept that.

Good,” he said. “The digital file will count as three additional requests on top of the original twenty-six.”

Wait,” she stopped. “If we’re counting the digital file by how many clicks it takes to delete it, shouldn’t we do the same for the paper copies? How many button-pushes would it take to delete the file?”

Several,” he said as his ice-blue gaze narrowed, telling her more effectively than words that he was rapidly reaching the end of his patience and leniency, “if I fed it through the shredder in huge chunks so it purposefully jammed. Are you sure that’s how you want to measure this?”

Have it your way,” she acquiesced casually—as if it didn’t matter at all—sensing that more argument might cost her valuable ground she’d just gained. “So, that’s twenty-nine requests.” Not an easy task, but not nearly the worst undertaking she’d taken on. A good deal, she thought. “But nothing illegal,” she added quickly. “And nothing that could jeopardize my career.”

Of course,” he said with a swift nod. “But in return, I want a time limit on these requests. If you refuse a request or take longer than three minutes to begin complying, you forfeit that page.” Tossing her a challenging glance, he added, “Agreed?”

Max bit her lip. She didn’t like the idea that there was even the possibility—the very real likelihood—that he could keep any of those pages in his possession.

I promise not to compromise you physically, professionally, or personally,” he told her softly. “I have no desire to harm you in that way or any other. You are safe with me.”

She scoffed. Safe with a blackmailer in an all but blind deal?

But what choice did she have? She couldn’t leave here empty-handed. Besides, she thought as she studied him, I can handle anything—even him. She took a deep breath. “Agreed.”

Excellent,” he said almost cheerfully. “I don’t suppose you’d be willing to seal our deal with a kiss, would you?” he asked mockingly.

Sure,” she said with a shrug. “Why don’t you kiss my ass and we’ll call it a deal?”

He laughed. “Bend over;” he said with an obvious leer to her behind, “it’d be my pleasure.”

Her face wrinkled. She was sure it would be his pleasure—all his. Perv. “How about a handshake?”

How about our first trade?” he countered.

Fine. He wanted another drink with her? Wanted to watch some more live sex shows starring her nearest and dearest? That was just fine. She could deal with twenty-nine nights of that, if it would get her goddamned file for her. She shrugged and then nodded.

My first request,” he told her as he moved to lean against his desk, “give me your panties.”

Max stuttered. “Excuse me?”

Your panties,” he repeated, sounding impatient, “give them to me.”




Read Part Two Here

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