Four best friends embrace their fantasies and make a pact of seduction to live out their deepest and darkest desires. The women place their lives in the hands of fate and one short straw declares Marley will be the first to awaken her secret wishes.
Reed, a Dom at sex club Castle Dolce Vita, has lived the BDSM lifestyle for awhile, but has yet to find a submissive that suits him. That is until he meets Marley, a woman seeking to indulge her fantasies.
As Reed guides her through a night of pleasure, Marley brings more to him than a perfect submissive–she stirs emotions in him long ago lost. By binding Marley, he runs up against his own limits, and now he has to choose between his self-protective barriers or surrendering to the wildfire Marley has reignited in his heart.
Aching feet, too many martinis, and dancing the night away at a club located in the heart of Baltimore led Marley to this moment–her twenty-fifth birthday celebration, to be exact. She plopped down on one of the pillows along the floor, surrounded by her three best friends. The two-story colonial-style house located in the quiet eastern neighborhood of the city had been home to all of them since college.
“Okay, girls, I have an idea,” Bella said.
Sadie’s large breasts–thanks to Dr. Lee–bounced as she squirmed on her pillow. “Oh…do tell.”
“I can hardly wait to hear what you’ve come up with now.” Kyra snorted, flipping her black silky hair over her shoulder.
As usual, Marley didn’t know what Bella was up to. She always attempted to make their lives interesting. “Okay, spill it. What trouble have you planned for us now?”
“Well.” Bella’s crystal blue eyes sparkled with wicked intentions. “Life has been boring lately, right?”
“Mm hm,” Marley responded. That was an understatement. Not saying her job at the elementary school didn’t fulfill her. Heck, she’d worked hard to get the full-time position as a sixth-grade teacher. Yet her life held no spunk. Same routine. Normal hours. Nothing ever changed.
Sure, Marley had had a few boyfriends, but none of them made her feel anything but friendship, and she grew tired of searching for Mr. Right when they all ended up being Mr. Wrong. She’d given up dating altogether a year ago.
“Let’s make a pact of seduction,” Bella said.
Sadie spit out her wine, and it sprayed on Marley’s face. “Oh shit, Marls. I’m so sorry.”
Marley groaned as the warm liquid dripped off her nose. She wiped her face, annoyed, yes, but too stuck on what Bella had said to care. “What do you mean a pact of seduction?”
“Exactly what you think I mean. We each have to fulfill our hottest fantasy. You know, the one you’ve always wanted to do but never thought possible. You’ve got to make it far past what you think you are capable of, something only imaginable in your dreams.”
“You can’t be serious!” Kyra exclaimed.
Bella frowned. “Of course I’m serious. Come on, let’s ruffle things up a bit. We’re all single. Marls is twenty-five now, and the rest of us are all approaching our birthdays too. In a few years we’ll likely be married with kids. All settled down with a life more normal than the one we live now. Let’s do something crazy, fulfill our ultimate fantasy while we still have the chance.” She paused.
Bella continued. “Two rules: the first, no judging. We’re here to help each other find our fantasy, not laugh at it. The second, whoever commits cannot back out. Friends’ oath.”
Marley looked to Sadie, who shrugged, but her eyes showed undeniable interest. Kyra nibbled her bottom lip. What to do? Could Marley make such a pact? Their friends’ oath was solid and unyielding. The exact reason their friendship held so tight. They’d never broken a vow to each other, and Marley did have a fantasy.
She spent her days guiding youths to do right, and had always been the one in control–she wanted to give that all up. She wanted a man to show her how to behave properly, and punish her for her disobedience. A man who had a body she could drool over, maybe even smoldering eyes, and one who could lift her tall frame with little effort. Add sex into the equation and heat exploded into every molecule of her body.
Before she agreed to anything, Marley needed to see if this had been just another thought passing through Bella’s busy mind or if she meant what she said. “Exactly how do we decide who goes first?”
“We draw straws.” Bella grinned.
“Draw straws to get it on.” Kyra laughed.
“Yes, exactly,” Bella retorted. “Tell me you’re not a little interested. We’d never fulfill our fantasy alone, or be brave enough to do it. So let’s make a pact. I don’t know about you all, but I’m bored as hell. I need something to spice up my life. Don’t you?”
Marley considered this. If she made the pact with her best friends, there would be no escape. Did she have the strength to make good on her word? She glanced around to her friends, and excitement showed on their faces, even Kyra’s. Marley would let her hesitations go too.
This was her chance to do something she’d never do if not forced. Maybe this could be a turning point for her. A way to break this boring cloud that had settled over her life, and maybe she could meet a man who could stir something more than friendship-level feelings. She drained the rest of her chardonnay, wiped her mouth, and smiled. “I’m in. What do we do next?”
Bella took a pad of paper and a pen off the end table and handed each of the women a sticky note. “We write our fantasies down; then we’ll share them.” She lowered her head, and Marley did the same.
By the time it was Marley’s turn to read her fantasy, she had discovered Kyra wanted two men, Sadie wanted a firefighter, and Bella had an interest in being with a woman.
When all eyes focused on her, Marley cringed. She had a hard enough time thinking these thoughts, let alone voicing them. “I can’t read this to y’all.”
“Oh, it’s gotta be good.” Bella snatched up the paper and read the note. “Our Marley here wants to be dominated.”
“You do?” Sadie asked.
“Like bondage, sadomasochism, that type of stuff?” Kyra interjected before Marley could respond to Sadie.
“Well…” Marley suspected her cheeks burned red. “I’m not sure what I want because I don’t know much about BDSM, but I like the idea of being told what to do and having someone else in control of my pleasure.”
All heads nodded, and in unison they said, “Sexy.”
Bella jumped up, then ran into the kitchen. A moment later, she returned holding four straws. “The shortest straw goes first, and so on. Here, Kyra, you’re up.”
Kyra pulled one that could be the tallest, but at this point, it was only guessing.
Bella held the straws out for Marley. “You next, Marls.”
Marley took a straw and grumbled at the small size, barely measured up to her pinky finger. Okay, she’d agreed; however, she didn’t want to go first. She didn’t think her friends would bail out, and she didn’t plan to either, but she wanted to go somewhere in the middle. A comfortable place to be.
Sadie took her straw, measuring the size of her index finger. Then Bella raised hers. “Hold ’em up, ladies.”
Marley looked from straw to straw, then realized she’d picked the wrong damn straw. Bella was next, then Sadie, with Kyra picking the largest straw. Smiling faces looked at Marley, and she groaned. “Oh no.”
“Oh yes.” Bella beamed. “You’re up, buttercup.” She practically ran over to the computer desk, only to return with her laptop a moment later. “And I’ve got the perfect place in mind.”
“What place?” Marley scooted toward her as Bella clicked away on the keyboard. “And how long have you been planning this?”
“Oh, not long, just a week or so,” Bella replied. “When I did some research on fantasies, I discovered this place in Bowleys Quarters.”
On the small screen, a Web site with a castle decorating the background and big, black, bold letters on the top read, Castle Dolce Vita. “What is it?”
“A sex club.”
Kyra’s eyes went huge. “A what?”
“Don’t get your granny panties all in a bunch.” Bella shushed her with a flip of her hand. “They have forums where you can contact people who have similar interests as you do”–she wiggled her eyebrows–“sexually.”
“Ew.” Kyra groaned. “This sounds really dirty.”
Bella ignored her as she usually did when Kyra protested one of her plans. “I was reading here. The rules are: all participants must sign a waiver form to insure privacy will be kept while at the castle. No cameras allowed and no videotaping permitted. All participants must provide a clear STD and AIDS test and a background check to the members they’re involved with before they are allowed to engage in sexual acts. And lastly, when members are involved in club life, they’re not allowed to engage sexually with anyone outside of the castle.”
Bella stopped reading and glanced to Marley. “Sounds safe to me.”
Marley looked to Kyra, waiting for her to disagree, but she only shrugged. “It sounds safer than if you went to a bar and slept with some random guy.”
“Oh God.” Marley grumbled, dropping her head into her hands, realizing the inevitable had fallen upon her.
“Ha.” Sadie giggled. “Let’s just hope you’ll be saying that when you’re with the guy.”
The others laughed. Marley didn’t. She raised her head, full of apprehension. “Do I have to go first? Can’t one of you?”
Bella scowled. “Fate decided, and you’ve got to listen. Follow the rules, remember.”
“Yeah, yeah, I remember.”
Sadie squirmed closer to Bella to look at the computer screen. “So what do we do to become members of the castle?”
“The rules say it’s by invitation only,” Bella replied. “We have to join the forum, write a letter from Marley describing who she is and what she wants, then wait for someone to call to discuss the possibility of an encounter.”
Kyra snatched the laptop from Bella and settled it onto her lap. “Let me write the letter. We want to make you sound sexy but smart. We don’t need some lunatic responding to you.” She rubbed her hands together. “Now then, let’s make this good.”