Release Date January 2015
Madison is a control freak with one wish—to lose control. Her hidden submissive cravings have led to a string of disastrous relationships. So when she inherits her sister’s North Carolina lingerie shop, Naughty Bits, she jumps at the opportunity to dump her boring finance career and bad history and try her luck down South. But before Madison can settle in, she discovers the hardware store owner next door, Logan Scott, is a full-blown Dom, and Troy, his handsome assistant, is a sub-in-training. Together they're awakening feelings she's kept suppressed for way too long.
Seeing the hunger for command in Madison's eyes, Logan gives her four different opportunities to unleash her submissive desires under his command. Faced with the realization that she can’t sell fantasies to her lingerie customers without embracing her own, Madison accepts Logan’s offer. But should she risk her battered heart for the hope of a happily-ever-after with him? Of course she should!
Naughty Bits was originally released as a four-part e-novella series April-July 2014. Now you can read the whole story under one cover in ebook, print or audio!
© Copyright 2015 - All Rights Reserved
“I’ve got you. You’re all fucking mine.”
He had his hand wrapped in her hair, holding so tight her scalp ached. He moved his mouth against her throat, against a vital artery pulsing with adrenaline. Pressed up against her back the way he was, he allowed her no personal space. His thigh was thrust between her legs, cock a bar of steel branding itself on her buttock, even through his jeans. When she sucked in a breath, it was all him. Spiced aftershave, heated male. She wanted to turn, put her face right against his throat, nestle in that scent, in the strength of him.
He was totally in control of everything, and she felt safe. For the first time in her life. If only he wasn’t a dream. But in her mind was the only place where she could give him control.
“You’re thinking again. You get punished when you think.”
As he stepped back, she wanted to reach for him, but she couldn’t. He had her bound against a cool cinderblock wall. Embedded manacles held her wrists and ankles, and dozens of taut, thin lines crisscrossed her body from shoulders to feet. The bindings were threaded through two vertical columns of hooks, outlining her against the stone. When he released her, until normal, mundane movement restored her skin, she’d bear the impressions of those lines. And other marks as well.
She yelped as the flogger hit her buttocks. The rough, braided strips bit into skin, left marks like a bird’s sharp toes.
“Beg for punishment.”
She moaned as he threaded his hand through the crisscrossed lines to push between the wall and her body. He caressed her navel, then dropped down to probe her clit, work it with a single firm fingertip, an excruciating and pleasurable tease. “It’s not about hurting you. It’s about you letting go. Ssshhh…”
He soothed, even as he tormented. She struggled like a moth in a web, made tiny cries as he kept flicking and tweaking. The orgasm was as close as the prayer for mercy when he stepped back.
“I don’t care what you think. Tell me how you feel. The first word that comes to mind.”
The flogger struck and she jumped. “Afraid.”
He did it again, and she gasped. “Wet.”
He gave a dangerous chuckle at that. “Trying to get me to play with your pussy again, aren’t you? You’ll have to earn that.”
“Hot…” “Alive…” “Need you”… “Aches…” “Stop…” “Don’t Stop…”
“Free.” She said that one several times. Each stroke made the feeling more real. The flogger cut into her, but instead of cringing, she was arching, trying to lift her hips, spread her arms wider, a swan taking flight, fighting what held her to the ground. She licked her lips. “Master. Please.”
He kept punishing her until she was a quivering mess, then he closed in on her again, took hold of her hair in that tight hold she loved. He bit her neck and she trembled more. “Say it.”
“I’m yours, Master.” She believed it. There was no doubt. No fear. No thinking. She heard that delicious sound of him unbuckling his belt, unzipping his jeans, then she let out a sigh of relief as his cock probed between her spread legs. He rubbed the head in the juices that were overflowing from her, getting himself slick before he started to push up inside her.
He’d fuck her like this, while she was helpless against the wall. She’d come so hard her flesh would be scraped by the cinder block, because she’d writhe against it like a snake shedding a skin. He’d take her home, rub soft lotions into her skin, make her sleep naked next to him so he could play with her body whenever, however, he wished all night long. His long, strong fingers would stroke those whip marks, the scrapes, push inside her. Anything he wanted, she’d give him, because she trusted him with everything. At least in that moment.
Dawn would come and dread would return. A hundred other emotions wrapping her up like those crisscrossed lines, only these imprisoned her mind and denied her heart.
Only by being his was she truly free.
“Madison, are you ready to go? Earth to Madison?”
* * * * *
Alice’s voice, pulling her out of the fantasy. Or memory. It was a little bit of both. It wasn’t Alice, though. It was Madison’s subconscious, recalling her to the present. Alice was dead.
Madison blinked through the car windshield. She was parked in the alley behind Naughty Bits, looking at cobblestone pavement, a set of dumpsters and an early morning sky, the clouds made smoky and gold-edged by the sun starting to come up somewhere beyond the row of buildings. Why’d she get out of bed this morning?
Because it was time to get moving, do what needed to be done. After weeks of being closed to the public, Naughty Bits needed to be reopened, but she didn’t have to face that this morning. She was just here to clean, evaluate inventory. Surely she could handle that.
Taking her purse and coffee cup with her, she locked the car. As she moved toward the back door, she fished out the key. So focused on getting the door opened, she didn’t understand why the lock turned easily but the door resisted. Then she looked down.
A UPS package was propped against the door. It was the size of a cinderblock, and obviously weighed the same. As she lugged it inside, precariously balancing her coffee, Madison wondered what kind of item with that poundage would belong in a lingerie store, but then Naughty Bits was far more than a lingerie store. The BDSM section had plenty of things that belonged in a medieval dungeon. Maybe it was an engraved ball and chain. A gift for the Master who had everything.
Hefting the box through the stockroom, she took it up front. It’d be easier to have it sitting behind the counter, ready for whomever had to be contacted to pick it up. She left it there as she went to unlock the front door. No, she wasn’t opening today, but she didn’t expect customers this early in the morning and she didn’t like the trapped feeling of a bolted door. Turning back toward the display counter, she saw the envelope.
Everything else vanished.
To MadGirl was written on the outside. It looked like it had been placed in its current location weeks ago, bearing a light layer of dust, same as the display counter glass beneath it.
Leave it to Alice to think of doing something like this. Fishing out a letter opener from the drawer beneath the cash register, Madison slit the envelope. She ran tense fingers over her face, a reassuring hard stroke, then unfolded the pages.
Sell doesn’t have to be a four-letter word. You used to know that.
Madison blinked. Now, of all times, her sister would choose to be snide? Alice had great hook lines, though. She never started a letter with the traditional: “Dear Madison”. Her handwritten script had flourishes like Thomas Jefferson’s. She’d done cursive that way since the eighth grade.
I’m not being snide. Sell connects to two other really important four-letter words. Want. Need. But I think the word that best describes it is Provide. Did you ever look that one up in the Encarta dictionary? The legal term means to require something in advance as a condition or as part of a contract. The non-legal term is to supply somebody with something, or be a source of something wanted or needed by somebody. Sets off something in your gut, doesn’t it?
Madison swallowed. “Stop it, Alice,” she muttered. “Just stop it.”
Fuck is another four-letter word, and it gets a bad rap. Cock, cunt, come… Do you think God and the Devil were playing a word game that day? “See how many naughty words can start with C, and whoever wins gets to handle everything connected to sex. Go!” You know the Devil won that one, hands down. God’s still pissed about it. Probably why He started the rumor sex was a sin.
Madison choked on a laugh.
Getting tired, so have to cut to the chase. Here’s the thing, MadGirl. Great selling isn’t about tricking someone into buying crap. It’s about helping them get something they truly need that adds value to their lives.
“Oh, Alice.” The ache in her throat increased as her voice echoed in the waiting silence of the store. Waiting for a mistress who would never return, who’d known how to turn a lingerie store into an adult Disneyland, complete with the enchantment, promise of princes and happily-ever-afters. She’d told Alice that once, only then she’d had derision dripping off every word. Now she thought it simply as it was. Truth.
I’m leaving you my store. You know that, but what you’re going to find out from my executor when you call him about this letter is that I set aside enough money for you to run the store for the next several years. If you don’t want to keep it after a year, sell the inventory and seek another path. But promise me you’ll give it a year. I’m betting you’ll find it easier to leave your life in Boston than you expect.
The fact she was exactly right about that would have been unsettling, except the subsequent paragraphs left Madison even more flummoxed.
This next bit is the awkward part. My passion was getting people in touch with their sexual selves, but we’re sisters, so talking about sex beyond jokes and generalities has a certain Eww factor, right? Before you turn red as a tomato, just think how bad this would be if I were your brother!
Madison snorted, but then her fingers tightened on the page.
I know you’re a sub, sis. I knew it even before I dragged you to that first BDSM club in Chicago. I made it sound like a silly adventure to get you there, but I thought it might help you come to terms with it. You were so mesmerized; barely moving, clutching your drink, hypnotized by everything you saw.
It came back in perfect clarity. Madison’s eyes had clung to the female submissives. The one who knelt at her Master’s feet. The one who’d been restrained, her cries of pain and pleasure drawn forth by the slap of the flogger, a male hand, the paddle. The one who passed within three feet of her, wearing a collar and leash her Master had wrapped around his hand, his other palm intimately low on her hip, guiding her.
She’d stared and yearned for a language she understood but couldn’t speak herself.
As a teenager, she’d devoured the old bodice rippers on her mother’s bookshelves. The more contemporary romances left her detached, and in the dark corners of her mind, Madison knew why. When she masturbated, she’d see the pirate captain tying her to his bunk, the king using his strong hands to push open her thighs, a cop forcing her to her knees with an insistent tap of his baton and feeding his cock between her lips. She’d gush around her fingers.
Sitting in the club booth, surrounded by all the sensory input of Dominance and submission, the mantra of “at last, at last” pounded inside her heart. She’d wanted to be every woman there embracing submissive pleasures.
What Alice hadn’t known was that Madison had agreed to go that night because she’d been nursing the hope that a garish, stark reality would drive the need away, a need that became worse over the years and destroyed her relationships with men. No matter how hard she worked at it, they still left. She always fell short.
Choosing the wrong guy is different from being wrong about yourself, MadGirl. Stop trying to prove you could do something to make Dad love us more. I loved her, but Mom was weak. She destroyed herself because she thought it was her fault Dad was an asshole who wanted younger women. Don’t be her. Stop trying to be what every guy, Master or not, wants you to be. Embrace who you are for you. Anything else is a pointless soul-suck.
“Goddamn you,” Madison murmured. This was why she’d distanced herself from her sister during the last two years. Alice had been a hammer, relentlessly pounding on the idea that Madison kept making the wrong decisions when it came to relationships. But none of that mattered anymore, did it? A point underscored by the last paragraph.
Dominance and submission isn’t one-size-fits-all. You have to make choices. Giving yourself to a Master is an incredibly special gift. I loved you more than anyone, MadGirl. Given how many cool, amazing people I met in my absurdly short life, that’s saying quite a lot. You always did underestimate what kind of gem you are. Maybe you’ll get a chance to shine here and see what I always saw in you.
Be good, sweet sis. But not too good. Remember me by showing your “naughty bits” once in awhile.
Shit. Madison put the letter on the counter and slid down the wall behind it, giving in to the hard sobs.
Madison had been up in Boston, selling stocks and bonds, managing people’s investments. Alice still called once a week and Madison always answered, but she’d focused her energy on staying passive aggressive cordial, distant. As a result, she hadn’t caught the vital clues. Alice’s allergy attacks that came more frequently, the colds and flu bugs. Her sister had been getting weaker and sicker.
Then, a couple months ago, Alice had called on a Thursday, not their usual day. In her matter-of-fact way, she’d said if Madison could come home that weekend, she’d really like to give her a quick last hug. She also wanted Madison to go through her collection of high-end, well-sterilized sex toys to see if she wanted any of them before they had to be boxed up and dumped. Incredibly enough, the Senior Citizens’ Auxiliary at the hospital wouldn’t accept them as donations for their Thrift Shop. You’d think they’d realize there’s nothing better for cardio-vascular health than a good daily orgasm…
Her lips twitched at Alice’s acid observation now. During that call, she’d simply been stunned. She’d said something absurd like, “Okay, let me check my schedule, I have this meeting, but I know I can get out of that…”
Alice had always known her so well, no matter how much Madison hated that. She’d merely listened. “No worries, MadGirl. Come if you can.”
Once off the phone that day, Madison’s brain had cleared. She’d called her boss, told Barbara what was happening. Barbara said she had to at least come in Friday and handle her scheduled client meetings, because Barbara had a tee time with board members. Madison refused. Barbara told her she’d be fired, and Madison retorted if she was that replaceable, Barbara could keep the damn job.
Just like that, she’d walked away from a career she’d excelled at for five years. Crazy, right? But it was as if she’d been treading water in a pool, blinded to the fact dry land was as close as the nearest ladder. Until Alice had arranged a wake-up call in the form of a simple deathbed request.
Come give me a quick hug.
If the memory had theme music, it would be something sad, wistful. Instead, the overtly erotic strains of “Boléro” injected Dudley Moore and a running Bo Derek into Madison’s brain, jarring her fully into the present.
She’d forgotten that music played when someone came into the store. Alice had the classics like “Boléro”, “Somewhere in Time” and “Claire de Lune” on the playlist, as well as sultry Latin numbers by Enrique Iglesias and pure fuck-me-now Barry White and Boyz-to-Men songs. She’d also thrown Rod Stewart’s “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy” and “Tonight’s the Night” into the mix because, well, why not?
Once the door triggered the music, the whole song would play unless someone else came in. Each time the door opened or closed, a new song started, letting Alice to know she had a customer arriving or departing. If there were no new customers after a song played in its entirety, there would be silence. She’d asked Alice once why she didn’t set it up so the music played constantly, and her sister said there was value in silence as well.
Honest to God, Alice’s choices gave the store a personality all its own. Madison wouldn’t be surprised if she could hear the store breathing.
She yanked her attention back to the more important issue. She wasn’t alone, and she was hiding behind the register counter. She hadn’t expected lingerie shopping to be popular at seven a.m. Jesus, she hadn’t even flipped the Open sign over or turned on lights, but having worked sales before, she knew customers were as bad as kindergarteners when it came to paying attention to details like those.
She should pop up from behind the counter like a macabre cartoon. “Yes, how may I help you?” Instead, she wiped her eyes and rose into view in a way that made it look as though she’d been bending below the counter to get something out of the cabinet, rather than pushing herself up the wall as if her weight had tripled since she’d landed there. “I’m sorry, we’re not open yet.”
She said that before she took a look at her first customer. A good thing, since she might have stammered. He wasn’t the type of client she’d expected, and not just because he was a “he”.
In his early to mid-twenties, this guy looked like he’d escaped the cover shoot for a romance novel. His stone-washed jeans, belted at his lean waist, defined a superior tight ass, well displayed because he was turned away from her, examining the merchandise on the rounder closest to him. The rolled-up sleeves of his denim shirt exposed tanned forearms. He had good shoulders – wide enough for his age. As he grew older and muscle weight thickened, they’d probably get even nicer. She expected beneath those clothes his body would be well-sculpted by the gym. Guys who worked out hard moved like wild animals, with easy grace and strength.
His sandy brown hair brushed his collar and brow, and when he glanced toward her beneath an attractive scattering of strands, his blue eyes reminded her of the sky. “Hi. I’m Troy. I work next door.”
“Oh.” Not a customer then, even though he’d been perusing a rack of bras, fingering a lacy D-cup with speculative interest and no self-consciousness. Cross-dresser? Before their falling out, she’d spent plenty of time in Alice’s world, brushing shoulders with everyone from transgender to cross-dressers. As a result, she didn’t think he fit the type. He wore his clothes without any excessive fashion sense. Simple, basic guy clothes, blues and denims, work shoes. Though a cross-dressing straight guy was possible, his gaze marked her with automatic hetero interest. Interest in what she looked like out of her clothes, not how she wore them.
“Nice to meet you.” She regretted her wooden tone, but he didn’t seem fazed by it, approaching the counter to extend his hand. She suppressed the urge to take another swipe at her face. Yeah, that would be nice. Wipe her nose, then offer her hand.
In Boston, her client list had included exacting millionaires and powerful corporate business men. She could handle an employee from…what was next door? A hardware store. In this artsy downtown area of Matthews, a quaint municipality on the outskirts of the much bigger city of Charlotte, all the stores were kitschy boutique type ventures. The hardware store, the brief glimpse she’d had of it, was a historic leftover from eighty years ago, maintaining the original brick façade in front. It was still run like one of the old-timey general stores, advertising horse feed and strawberries in season, as well as small engine repair.
Alice had relocated here from a Charlotte strip mall location a few years ago. Because of their falling out, Madison hadn’t had a chance to meet her new neighbors.
“When we heard you knocking around, Mr. Scott told me to come over and see if you need anything.”
He still had his hand out, and she was staring at him as if he’d sprung out of the walls. With a jerk, she lifted her hand to clasp his. He closed his fingers over hers, held them. He had a rough palm, a strong, warm grip, and those eyes never left her face. “We’re so sorry about Alice. She was an incredible person, and she loved you so much.”
Wow. He just zeroed right in on the personal, leaving her nowhere to hide. Madison blinked, hard, and unconsciously squeezed his hand, to find her own squeezed right back. She’d been dealing with lawyers, city clerks, real estate people, all of whom talked about Alice in distant niceties. This man was just as much a stranger as they were, but his obvious personal connection to Alice, physical and emotional, made her hungry to maintain the contact. She didn’t want to make a fool of herself, but Troy saved her from that. He covered her hand with his other one, holding hers sandwiched between them and giving her an excuse to keep it in that position.
“She left me this place,” Madison said. “I’m not sure how to run it. I mean, I know how to run it. I’ve been in sales, but…”
Good grief, Madison. She shrugged to get him to let her go and put both hands on the counter, pressing her palms against the cool glass. Beneath it was an array of jeweled nipple clamps and clit jewelry, displayed as elegantly as any New York diamond district’s offerings. She was pretty sure some of them had actual diamonds, since one had a four-figure price tag. For nipple jewelry? In contrast, on top of the counter, Alice had a basket of plastic hopping penises, breasts and bright red lips. Madison took a closer look. Okay, those weren’t lips. At least not the mouth kind. A cheerful yellow bow on the basket drew attention to the contents.
Alice. God, I’m going to miss you.
Troy picked up one of the toys, wound it up, let it hop across the counter. “She was crazy,” he said. “Crazy, wonderful, beautiful, sexy.”
She glanced up at him. Had they been lovers? Somehow she didn’t think so. Yet his tone was intimate. It was impossible not to focus on his mouth, those eyes. She liked hearing his Southern accent after all the Boston ones. The drawl, the slower pace of talking. Feeling, living, everything. She could imagine this man uttering an endearment in that sexy drawl.
When she realized it was obvious she was staring, she flushed. He straightened to his six foot height.
“Sorry. Mr. Scott says I need to be careful about doing that. I tend to be distracting.” He said it without ego, giving her a half smile. “He says there’s nothing wrong with looking the way I do, as long as I give as much pleasure as I take. But since I love giving it, it gets kind of confusing, because that’s a form of taking, you know?”
Fortunately, he didn’t seem to expect an answer to such a complex question. “Anyhow,” he continued, “I better get back. Come by later if you want to check out our store. You’re always welcome. Mr. Scott wanted to give you time to settle in, but remember to call if you need us. We’re here for you.”
With a nod, he moved back to the front door. “Boléro” was on its finale. As he opened the door, “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” started, done a poignant piano instrumental. Alice used to sing it to her when Madison was five and she was ten. She’d called her Little Star.
Christ, how was she going to do this?