Author: Olivia Cunning Chapter 1
Within seconds of meeting a man, Aggie could assign him to one of two lists.
List A: Men Not Worth My Time.
List B: Men I’d Like to Fuck.
List A grew in length every hour she worked at the nightclub, Paradise Found. She couldn’t remember the last time a man had landed himself on List B.
That might explain why Aggie dropped her bullwhip when he caught her attention. Whoever he was. Potential List B strode across the floor as if he owned the place. He had that stereotypical bad boy look—leather, tattoos, and a giant chip on his shoulder—which was contradicted by the sweetest face she’d ever seen. When he took a seat at the table closest to her stage, he leaned back in his chair and crossed his legs at the ankle, as if he planned to stay for a while.
Interesting. And entirely fuckable.
Sipping his beverage, Angel Face gazed up at her with an odd gleam of challenge in his dark eyes. Something about him had her instantly thinking naughty thoughts. Only half of them involved inflicting pain on his tight body. Oh, the guy was a looker, no denying that, but that wasn’t his main appeal. Strange thing was she didn’t know what set him apart from the other nightclub patrons. Perhaps she needed a new list just for him.
Temporary List C: Men I Can’t Instantly Label. She had no doubt that this list’s only assignee would quickly land himself on List A. In no way would she ever consider a customer List B potential. It didn’t matter how attractive he was.
Aggie retrieved her bullwhip from the stage floor (how embarrassing) and cracked it next to Hottie’s cheek. He didn’t flinch. His body tensed, but not with fear. From the slight gasp he emitted and the flutter of his lashes, she could tell her threat turned him on.
Most men liked to watch Aggie’s routine from the shadows and think they could take her abuse. Trying to show their toughness, they chose the dominatrix in leather to entertain them at Paradise Found, but few sat within striking distance of her bullwhip. Not that she’d actually hit anyone at the club. If a man wanted her to punish him for being born with a Y chromosome, he had to pay extra.
Aggie drew her arm back and lashed her whip at the new arrival’s cheek again. The leather snapped centimeters from his skin. She was satisfied when he didn’t flinch this time either. Oh Lord, he’d be fun to break. It had been forever since she’d had a real challenge in her dungeon.
He stared directly into her eyes as she danced closer. He looked quite young—midtwenties, maybe—but he had eyes wise beyond his years. She’d bet he’d seen a lot of tragedy in his life. Many of those who sought her for release had.
The young man beckoned her closer with a crooked finger. Surprised, she arched a brow at him and glanced at Eli, the bouncer who stood near the stage. She wasn’t supposed to discuss her side business at the club. As far as her coworkers were concerned, Aggie’s dominatrix routine was entirely an act. Later, when she moved to the floor to interact with customers on a more personal basis, she would slip her card to potential slaves, but her stage set wasn’t over yet. She needed to concentrate on her dancing and not daydream about making some tough-looking übercutie her bitch.
Aggie hooked her leg around a silver pole and twirled around it, her long, black hair flying out behind her. When she stopped, she found the guy had vacated his chair and was standing against the stage at her feet. He pulled a bill from his back pocket and held it out to her between two fingers. Hello, C-note. Mama needs a new pair of boots.
Holding onto the pole with one hand, she leaned toward the customer, offering the tops of her full breasts to his view. His gaze shifted to her bare skin, and he drew his tongue over his upper lip. Usually, one guy looked as mundane as another to her, but she took in every inch of this one, from his heavy black boots to his spiked platinum blond hair. Dark eyes. Dark eyebrows. Dark beard stubble. The hint of a tattoo revealed itself above the neckline of his T-shirt. A studded leather band adorned his right wrist. He looked hard and tough, yet saccharine sweet at the same time. A hell’s angel, heavy on the angel. She wondered if his beard stubble was an attempt to cover up that undeniably cute face of his.
He slid the bill between Aggie’s breasts and into the bodice of her black leather bustier. As his fingertips brushed her skin, her nipples tightened. Totally unusual reaction for her. Customers typically gave her the heebie-jeebies when they touched her. This one had all her systems set to go. The small silver hoop in his earlobe caught a strobe light. Aggie gnawed on her tongue, wanting to nibble on his ear instead. She did have a thing for ears.
Um, wrong answer, Aggie. Customers were never fair game for action in the sack.
“Do you do private dances?” he asked, his chocolate-brown eyes locked with hers. His voice was deeper than she’d expected and so quiet, she wouldn’t have heard him over the throbbing club music if she hadn’t been leaning so close.
“You mean like a lap dance?”
“If that’s what you do. How much?”
“Fifty bucks. ”
He handed her another hundred. The guy must have had a good day at the casino. He didn’t look rich. He wore a plain white T-shirt, worn black leather jacket, and snug blue jeans, which clung to the huge bulge in his pants. Well, hello there, big guy. She was glad she wasn’t the only one thinking her next dance should be the horizontal mamba.
Aggie, pull yourself together, woman. He’s a customer. No can do. Oh, but she so wanted to. Do. Him.
His gaze lowered to the floor, and he flushed. “Do you offer other services?”
Whoa, buddy. Brakes engaged. “I’m not a prostitute, if that’s what you’re asking. ”
He shook his head. “That’s not what I meant. I want you to hurt me. ” He drew a deep, shuddering breath into his expanding chest. “Hard-core. ”
Oh yeah. Can do, sugar.
Aggie glanced over at the bouncer again to make sure he wasn’t watching her side transaction. Eli’s attention was on the far stage, where Paradise Found’s newest dancer, Jessica, a. k. a. Feather, was dancing in her white feathers and silk scarf. Men were mesmerized by her. Even though Jessica had a fantastic body and knew how to move it, she simply didn’t have the right mind-set to be an exotic dancer. None of the drooling men who surrounded Feather’s stage with slightly bulging eyes and excessively bulging flies would agree with Aggie’s opinion. All they saw was her beautiful outer package—not the severely broken heart within. Aggie saw it though. She’d recognized it the instant she’d met Jessica and helped her land this job. Poor lamb. So confused and conflicted.
Aggie returned her attention to the guy at her feet. She didn’t have the same sympathy for men. “I do indulge for a price,” Aggie told him, “but no sex. ”
“I don’t need sex. ”
She nodded. He wasn’t new to this. Which made him so much more fun than her usual victims. She had a few regulars who visited her dungeon, but most of her customers were guys visiting Vegas who wanted to explore their darker sides for a night. She never saw most of them again, which suited her just fine. Many dommes preferred regulars, but Aggie would rather turn over a quick buck and avoid growing fond of one of her submissives.
Her current interest’s body held tension in every line. When he glanced up at her, the deep emotional pain in his gaze made her belly quiver. Yeah, blondie, you’re exactly the challenge I need right now. “I can work you over, angel, but not here. I’ll slip you my card later, and you can call me. If you’re lucky, I’ll show you my dungeon. ”
He shuddered, his breath coming out in an excited gasp.
Maybe she should take him backstage and give him a taste of what she had to offer. He looked ready to explode with the strain of co
Aggie dropped down on her knees on the stage to continue dancing as she talked to him. “When do you need this?”
“As soon as possible. ”
“I think I have an opening in a few days. ”
“Tonight. I’ve got money. Name your price. ”
Name your price? He was definitely speaking her language, but making him wait would do half her work for her. She ran her bloodred, pointed nails down the side of his neck, leaving light scratches in their wake. “I’ll check my calendar and see if I can squeeze you in. Maybe tomorrow. Or the next day. ”
She was eager to raise welts on his flesh and hear him cry out in pain. Wanted the ultimate prize he would gift her: begging her for mercy, begging her to stop. That sweet instant he gave her all of his power and she owned him. That’s what she wanted. What she needed to keep herself elevated from that deep, dark pit she’d once resided in. But it was too soon to indulge him. He’d attain greater fulfillment if she put him off a few days. Let the anticipation settle into his body and his thoughts until he could think of nothing but the delicious agony she promised.
A commotion on the other side of the room drew her attention. Eli, Aggie’s bouncer, darted toward Feather’s stage. Some big, good-looking customer had captured Jessica in his arms. She was wrapped in a leather jacket with her arms trapped helplessly. Several bouncers were trying to secure her release. Several others were escorting some tall, thin guy out of the club. A third guy standing next to Jessica’s captor shook his head in disgrace. All three customers had a similar look to them. Like they were in some rock band or something. Come to think of it, the cute guy at the end of her stage had a similar appearance. A matching set. She looked down to find her potential good time had vanished.
“Motherfuckers!” her blond angel yelled as he launched himself onto the back of one of the bouncers.
When Jace saw that a bouncer was dragging Sinners’ drummer, Eric, toward the exit, he didn’t think, he just acted. All thoughts of the beautiful, black-haired dominatrix and what glorious things she could do to his body fled his mind.
Jace raced across the club, hurdled a chair, and landed on the bouncer’s back. He knew he wasn’t big enough to take him down, but Jace could fight. If things had turned out differently, he might have become a professional boxer, instead of the bass guitarist for a rock band.
He didn’t mind an occasional brawl—he was good at fighting and knew how to knock a man out in one punch—but Jace wasn’t even sure why they were engaging with a bunch of bouncers at Brian’s bachelor party. They were supposed to be celebrating, not stirring up shit. Eric had better have a good reason for making eight club bouncers pissed enough to hit anything that moved. As the fight moved to the sidewalk outside the club, it escalated. Jace took out a couple of guys with one punch, before pausing to assess the situation.
Tall and wiry, Eric was putting up a fine fight, but was outnumbered four to one. Surrounded on all sides with no way out, Eric unexpectedly pointed to the sky. “Look, the Flying Elvises!”
All four bouncers stared up at the dark sky like turkeys in a hailstorm. When their attention turned skyward, Eric crashed into one of the bouncers at waist level, trying to escape the circle of muscle, but as soon as they realized there were no parachuting icons to entertain them, all four bouncers pounded Eric in rapid succession.
Jace decided to even the odds. Two uppercuts and a couple dozen jabs later, two more bouncers lay on the sidewalk: one out cold, the other attempting to rise, but failing to regain his equilibrium.
Eric wiped the blood out of his eye, his surprised gaze shifting from the human debris at his feet to Jace. “Jesus, little man, you’re a one-man wrecking crew. ”
Distracted by Eric’s compliment, Jace found an unexpected fist against his jaw. Pain radiated up the side of his face. His ears rang. Vision blurred. The pain he didn’t mind, but the jar to his senses left him unbalanced. He took another hit to the jaw before he could focus well enough to knock his adversary out with one hard punch under the chin.