Releasing May, 2014One determined Journalist…. Freelance journalist, Genevieve Parker, has just been handed the biggest story of her career. But there’s one problem…Going undercover as a submissive in one of the most exclusive BDSM clubs in the world was more than she bargained for. But that’s nothing compared to the man she meets there. Andreas Contos. Her assignment. Gorgeous. Powerful. Mysterious. Genevieve is fascinated…intrigued. But does her intense attraction and willingness to go places with him she’s never gone before sexually really have to do with writing her exposé? Feeling confused and overwhelmed, every instinct tells her to run before her professional facade comes crashing down…before she has to choose between obligation and desire.... One elusive billionaire… Greek billionaire, Andreas Contos, is more than he seems. Between the powerful company he keeps and the secrets that lurk behind closed doors, trusting anyone is out of the question – especially the lush and sensual woman he just met. But there is something different about Genevieve – a guarded nature he’s anxious to penetrate. Unable to resist her, Andreas proceeds in taking her under his wing for the night to show her his world – a world of exquisite pleasure. As the two of them get deeper in exploring the eroticism of mind and body, danger watches them from the shadows…
Lifestyle journalist Genevieve Parker stood in the shadows to the right of the bar and did her best to tame her growing anxiety. How the hell had this happened?
She was in Dubai – in the middle of an arid desert – on the southern coast of the Arabian Peninsula just south of Abu Dhabi, about to embark on the worst nightmare of her life. Club Pluto – the most exclusive BDSM club in the world.
She gave herself a moment to calm down, pulled air into her lungs, held it, and exhaled slowly. But her pulse was still humming, her body trembling.
She looked around, trying to compose herself. Her eyes adjusted to the subdued light, and she could finally see into the dark and shadowy corners of the club. What had been hidden when she first walked in was now fully revealed.
Discomfort gripped her belly as her eyes swept over the opulence placed over three entire floors with unrivalled views of Dubai Marina. The shimmering skyline as backdrop was breathtaking. The mood inside surreal. A kaleidoscope of colours and textures and sounds.
The soothing darkness, erotic rather than romantic, was made more so by the golden glow of candles scattered about and red-toned lamps on tables and along the back ledge of the bar. She’d never been in a place this beautiful, rich or decadent. The overhead red and gold chandeliers bathed the sumptuous space in a sultry haze. From the burnished gold walls and eclectic statutes, to the jeweled colored velvet cushions, rich wood finishes and Asian flower arrangements everywhere was a delicious compliment to the well-dressed movers and shakers in her midst.
As her survey continued, she loved the ornate Chinese screens cleverly sectioning off the large space into smaller intimate corners and niches for romantic tête-à-têtes. The bar, main dining area and dance floor was where the bulk of action was taking place. Many lounged in groups on red velvet couches, while several were huddling around the bar, and the rest sat at small cafe style tables scattered about with drinks in hand murmuring their private conversations which was barely audible over the erotic trancelike music coming from the wall speakers. Each one, she noted, was totally at ease with the unabashed sensual and erotic energy around them. Of course they would be. This was Club Pluto. People came here to indulge their deepest fantasies or watch others fulfill theirs. Although she doubted that anyone beside the VIP members really knew what went on the third floor.
Genevieve cast her gaze to the floor, forcing her eyes shut and trying to calm her racing pulse. It was no use.
She groaned inwardly.
I need you to cover the story Parker, her boss had said. Due to a broken leg, Suzanne won’t be able to complete the assignment. You’re the only one available to do it. Larry Tams had peered at her with a stern frown.
At the time she’d answered yes, absolutely she’d cover for Suzanne. But that was before she’d known what the assignment was. And where. And what it required.
Now, agreeing had been a big mistake. Big. Huge.
Oh, God. What was she doing here? She was a respected freelance lifestyle journalist, writing features and articles about art and culture and politics, and not about BDSM sub-culture of whips and chains! What had Tams been thinking? Never mind that, what the hell was Suzanne thinking?
Apparently, Club Pluto was the venue of choice for billionaires with dark and kinky urges. And the hefty membership fee they paid ensured their privacy and bought them the privilege of indulging those urges. Membership was by invite only. Shrouded in secrecy, the main purpose for Club Pluto was kept within the tight confines of its elite members. Men with more money than God. Most of its patrons, if not all, had no idea what Club Pluto was really about. Its buzz as one of the hottest clubs in the world, catering to the uber-cool and monied crowd, was enough to keep inquiring minds at bay. A clever strategy if there ever was one. But Genevieve didn’t care about all that. There was only one member in particular that she’d come to inquire about tonight.
Greek billionaire, Andreas Contos, was on every journalist’s wish list. The dream interview. Rumours and speculation about his past abounded. CIA. Assassin. Mercenary. Thus the intrigue. But they were only rumors mostly because members of the press had yet to prove them. As for his status as a Dominant, well that was yet unproven too. But according to Suzanne, he was leader of the pack. If her claim was true, then Andreas Contos was going to be one hell of a headline.
From a journalistic point of view she could see the fascination. But from a personal one, who the hell cared? Did the world really need another exposé about a wealthy man with bizarre sexual tastes? Hardly, in her opinion.
The claws of irritation gripped her insides as she steeled herself for what she was about to do. It was a job, an assignment. How could she have refused? She needed the money. Hell, with the state of the economy right now every penny was gold. As a freelance journalist being picky or fussy was a breath away from living on the streets. Unless the assignment risked life and limb, refusing would’ve been downright stupid.
She knew nothing about the lifestyle nor had any interest in it. However, their readers would. The audience of ‘The World’ magazine, a popular monthly covering lifestyle, travel and culture, had eclectic tastes and appetites. The story would titillate, fascinate and push the boundaries of sexual taboos. As far as she was concerned, it was just plain weird.
Not that she was a prude. Sure, she was a small-town girl, but she’d lived in New York long enough to have stumbled upon a few lovers. Not that she was all that great in the sac. Really, making love was rather overrated, at least for her. Obviously the men she chose either didn’t know what pleased a woman or they weren’t interested in pleasing her. She didn’t know and hadn’t cared enough to ask.
Eventually, she’d resigned herself to the fact that men didn’t really want or desire her. They preferred women with trimmer bodies, who were uninhibited, and more sexually inclined. That realization had hurt like a bitch. She may not have been a modern day Aphrodite but at least she was a good person. Smart, sensible, practical, hardworking, unselfish. Relatively average, if not attractive. She gave all she could to her mom, her job. It was enough, right?
But evidently such qualities did not give men erections. As a result, her sex life was non-existent. She’d learned to channel those energies into her work instead. And besides, the idea of sexual exploration and experimentation sounded exhausting and time consuming. Who the hell had the time in a 24/7 world anyway?
Yeah, her sexual experiences were limited for this assignment. But her experience in her job was not and therefore she would not allow her biases to dictate the outcome. After all, she was a professional.
This assignment demanded that of her. In a big way.
Integrity was a central part of her core and she’d be damned if a few niggling fears and insecurities would prevent her from completing it.
For the past five years work had come first. She’d garnered a reputation for being persistent, thorough and cool. And those adjectives, she decided, were the reasons for staying put because she was going to get what she’d come for. The time wasn’t going to be wasted. All she needed was an hour. Sixty minutes. In that time she could gather enough information for a concise and very exclusive article about Andreas Contos.
Well actually, more like an exposé. It would be a coup, the biggest of her career, and maybe, just maybe help put her on the map.
Undercover at a BDSM club.
She pushed out a steadying breath and wrapped her rigid fingers around the strap of her navy blue purse. All she had to do was don her voyeuristic writer persona and observe from a safe distance. She wasn’t here to participate, after all, only watch, file and absorb.
Not that she judged people who were into BDSM. No, of course not. It was the extremes she questioned. The means to attain pleasure. And most all, the element of pain.
Why? Because her father had been a sadistic bastard.
But now was not the time to think about her abusive father. It was in the past and a lifetime ago. The anger would wait, it wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon. It hadn’t for nearly twenty years. But she’d contained it, rolled mountains over it
Ever hear of earthquakes, Genevieve?
Shrugging off those thoughts, her eyes scanned the club once more, searching for the mysterious Andreas Contos. Her eyes travelled to the back of the club where a staircase rose up from the main floor in a circular fashion and disappeared mysteriously into the far recesses of the building. It reminded Genevieve of a labyrinth with ineffable depths. She knew the play area was up there and so were the rooms which members had to pay extra to use for private indulgences. She couldn’t even imagine what was going on up there right now. But down here, beside the subdued opulence and exclusive vibe, felt like a normal club at first glance. Well kind of, if you removed the waitresses rushing about in black, tight latex pants and red corsets, cinched so tight, Genevieve wondered how they breathed. But to her great relief everyone was at least fully clothed.
Jesus. How was she going to pull this undercover shit off? Just the thought of such sexual activities taking place upstairs filled her with…with what? Disgust? No, that was too harsh of a word for what she was feeling. Curiosity? No, that wasn’t it either. Anticipation? No, not quite. Turned on? She froze. She swallowed.
Turned on? Really, Genevieve? Was she nuts? Then again she stood in a BDSM club. That realization created all sorts of funny feelings in her.
And then she saw him. Those funny feelings knotted in her stomach at the sight of him.
He was sitting with a few men in a spacious VIP booth that allowed plenty of room for the five men, all above six feet tall, with shoulder spans to match.
Was stunning even the right word to describe him? She wondered. His hair was dark as coal, thick and wavy, just long enough to brush the tip of his shirt collar. His eyes, thanks to the angle of the club lighting, showed green, vibrant as emeralds, like his aura. He was on the end, probably because he had the widest shoulders and longest legs. The white shirt he wore with his black slacks had to be tailored for those shoulders. He reeked of money. And a man who sat like that knew his net worth. But she wasn’t after his cash. Just to observe him in action. If she ever got up the courage to leave the corner that is.
“There you are.”
She snapped out of her mental bubble to find herself facing a tall and powerful man. He had dark, close-cropped hair and intense blue eyes, causing a shiver to run over her skin. She could tell he noticed, but he remained smooth, professional. “I’m Tye Warner, one of the owners here. I just wanted to come by and meet you. Gary Newman called me earlier to inform me that you would be coming to check out our club.”
“Yes.” Sort of check out the club. Andreas Contos being the reason. The third floor being the other. Once Suzanne had nailed down the billionaire’s club of choice, she’d contacted Gary Newman, a politician and a member at Club Pluto, and called in a favor. At first he’d been reluctant, but Suzanne had harassed him for an invite until he relented. Suzanne had enough dirt to have people do her bidding. Yeah, she knew where all the bodies were buried.
“Its been interesting so far.”
“I know at first sight its a lot to take in,” he said. “But there’s nothing to be nervous about.” He ran a light, reassuring hand down her arm. “We have security inside and out, and the staff knows to keep a diligent eye on VIP guests such as yourself. So you are safe.”
“Thank you,” she replied. “That helps a little.”
“Good.” He smiled. “So where do you want to start?”
“I…um. Well, I don’t know…” Her gaze flickered, a brief flash. Still, Tye shifted and determined exactly whom she’d been looking at.
“I see. Give me a second.”
And he was gone. Even though she felt awkward being left alone at the bar, she couldn’t help from noting he had a fine walk. Leather pants fitted tight, black shirt tucked in, the tight firm ass and the predatory grace of a panther commanded the eye of every woman in the room.
Stopping at one booth, he stroked a proprietary hand over a blue-eyed woman with red hair. From the way her gaze heated, whatever he said to her was obviously intimate. His eyes flamed in response. Stroking her hair once more, he moved away and straight toward the table where Genevieve’s target was sitting.
“Oh, s**t, no…” She stood, paralyzed, as he put a hand on Andreas’ shoulder, leaning down to his ear. If every man at that booth turned around and stared at her, she was going to pretend a bomb was about to blow and dive behind the bar for cover.
Andreas stilled, glancing up at Tye. Then he shifted his gaze to her.
In those few nervous seconds, Genevieve debated whether to meet his eyes or not. Smile, not smile. Oh, Jesus. This is what she always did. Worried about her appearance whenever a man looked her way. What, with her lush breasts, round hips, full ass, it was a far cry from Victoria Secret model perfection. That was for damn sure.
Men like him, she knew, preferred beauty if not physical perfection in a woman. She doubted he would like her. She’d heard the tales of submission that went on here from Suzanne and she wasn’t the type to fall to her knees before a man. She might fantasize about it, but she had too much pride to actually do it. So since she didn’t qualify on either count, she had to chill. This was only an undercover assignment and not a love match. Not that a part of her couldn’t imagine what it would be like to submit to a man like Andreas Contos, but she was too practical to indulge in such a fantasy.
Besides, he was way out of her league. From Suzanne’s notes, she’d learned some of the lingo associated with the lifestyle. Andreas was what those in the lifestyle would call a true Dom, a naturally dominant man that everyone automatically deferred to without being aware of it or knowing why.
And Lord help her, he was gorgeous. His face was flawlessly sculpted, chiseled jaw dusted with stubble. Strong, proud, beautifully male. What would it feel like to make love to a man like Andreas Contos? She frowned at that. Hardly appropriate. And totally unlikely.
She kept her eyes on anything but him. First she watched the people huddled around the bar not too far from where she was standing, then the hot looking waitresses serving food and drinks with machine like efficiency, then a man and woman getting up from their table, arm in arm, heading to the staircase. There was no doubt what was on their minds or where they were going. It didn’t matter, just so long as she didn’t look in Andreas Contos direction.
But it was useless. She could feel his stare demanding her attention. Genevieve fought the pull on instinct. Finally, she shifted her gaze and locked eyes with him. His expression changed. It wasn’t quite a smile, and it wasn’t quite amusement. It was something else. Approval.
While she knew she was standing by the bar, people shuffling past her, music vibrating beneath her feet and off the walls, it all melted away. Her breath went short and she couldn’t be sure why her heart was pounding. Fear, excitement, tension all went to battle. It was scary as hell. And she stood still, like a deer caught in the headlights, blinded by that hot, focused stare.