He shrugged. “Good thing we never made it to my playroom.”

“I’ll make you a deal.”

“Not interested.”

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She ignored his comment. “Give me an hour and a half in your playroom, and if I’m not the best damn submissive you’ve ever been with, I’ll leave the group.”

The look he gave her should have made her drop to her knees, but she forced herself to remain upright.

His voice was husky when he replied. “I appreciate the gesture, Ms. Jenkins, but I can’t make that sort of deal. I will, however, agree to forty-five minutes at the party tomorrow night. And if you aren’t the best, you and I agree to stay the hell away from each other from now on.”

The next night, Jeff waited for Dena in the living room of Daniel’s guesthouse. It would serve him right if she didn’t show up. He couldn’t deny he’d acted like an ass toward her. He’d been shocked when he’d found out she was Senator Jenkins’s daughter. Who wouldn’t have been?

He’d gone home after seeing her safely inside her apartment and searched for her online. He’d learned she was a Harvard Law School graduate who’d surprised her family by turning down a position at a prestigious firm to work for the State of Delaware. When you paired that with what he knew about her reasons for initially joining the local community, he had a pretty good idea of how she was wired.

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She was a fighter who took what she wanted even when those around her thought she should do otherwise. But how was she as a submissive? Would she try to top from the bottom? The more he learned about her, the more he wanted to find out.

But he wanted her to decide he was what she wanted. The downside of his strategy was that he’d pissed her off in the process.

“Master Parks?”

He looked up to find she’d entered the room. She looked even more stunning than she had at the first play party. Tonight she wore a white corset and a short white, clingy skirt, with her blond hair falling to her shoulders in soft curls. The effect was breathtaking.

“Dena.” He stood.

He meant to say something. To invite her to sit beside him. Ask how her day had been. Anything. Instead, he watched dumbstruck as she hesitantly moved toward him. When she made it to his side, she gracefully slid to her knees, kneeling before him.

He couldn’t stop his hand from reaching out to settle on the top of her head. Her hair was soft and silky. He stroked it and heard her sigh in pleasure.

“Look at me,” he whispered.

Clear blue eyes met his. She looked at him with need, want, and just a slight hint of lingering anger.

“Thank you for suggesting this,” he said. He’d planned to talk with her before they played, but seeing her on her knees made him change his mind. He had a copy of her checklist, and she’d agreed to be his for forty-five minutes tonight. Talking could wait.

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“My pleasure, Sir.”

“There’s a spare room to the right of the kitchen. Let’s go. You can walk in front of me.”

She led the way and he followed. As they passed Daniel in the kitchen, he gave Jeff a self-satisfied nod.

Jeff tilted his head toward the room. “Make sure we’re not interrupted too much.”

Because they were at a party, he knew a senior member would look in on them at least once. He accepted that; he just didn’t want their scene interrupted numerous times.

He closed the door behind him. He’d set everything up earlier in the evening. A St. Andrew’s Cross stood at the back of the room, with his toy bag and ropes beside it. Dena would see the giant wooden “X” and infer he had a bondage scene planned.

Dena knelt in the middle of the room. Her butt rested on her feet and her knees were pressed together. If they played together again, he’d instruct her in the way he preferred his submissives to wait, but for tonight she was fine.

He stood before her and pictured how they would look to an outsider: Dena, dressed in white, with her pale skin and blond hair. He would look like her opposite with his dark hair and black jeans and T-shirt. Likely as not, they had nothing in common except their lifestyle. Fortunately, for the next forty-five minutes, that was all they needed.

“What’s your safe word, Dena?”

“Red, Sir.”

“Anytime you feel like you need to stop, use it and we can talk.”

“Thank you, Sir.”

“Stand up and take off that corset and skirt. They’re too pristine for what I have planned for tonight.”

She obeyed quickly, standing up and slipping the skirt down over her hips, putting it to the side. But then she hesitated.

“Is there a problem already?” he asked.

“I can’t get the corset off by myself, Sir.”

He eyed the white contraption, noting the laces and ties were in the back. “How did you get it on?”

“One of the other submissives helped.” She was contorting her body this way and that in a vain attempt to reach the top hook. Though it probably wasn’t her intent, the movement was doing magnificent things to her figure. At one point, one of her breasts threatened to pop out.

“Enough,” he finally said, putting an end to her wiggly dance. “As enjoyable as this is, I have no intention of watching you try to undress for the rest of our time together. You have two minutes to get out of that corset. If I have to help, you’ll be naked the rest of the night.” He looked at his watch. “Time starts now.”

Though she’d marked exhibitionism as “likes a lot,” she apparently wasn’t in the mood to spend the remainder of her time at the play party naked. Her movements intensified as she struggled to undo the corset. With thirty seconds remaining, she let out a satisfied “Aha,” and the garment fell to the ground.

She stood before him breathing heavily, a look of triumph on her face.

“Very nice, Dena,” he said. “Now take off the panties and come here.”

When she was naked except for her white heels, she walked over to the cross where he stood. Fuck, she was even more gorgeous naked. Every inch of her was perfect.

“I want your back to the cross,” he instructed her.

Taking a length of red rope and a length of black, he bound her to the cross, spread-eagle. He worked slowly, taking his time, running his fingertips along her skin before he decorated it. Done correctly, bondage was an art form, and for the night, he had the most beautiful canvas imaginable.

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