Authors: Cd Reiss
Tags: #Alpha Male, #bondage, #dominance and submission, #erotic romance, #bdsm, #billionaire
Songs of Submission – Book Five
Copyright © 2013
This book is protected under the copyright laws of the United States of America. Any reproduction or other unauthorized use of the material or artwork herein is prohibited.
This book is a work of fiction. Any similarities to real persons living or dead is purely coincidental
Cover Art designed by the author
………This is Book Five………
If you haven’t read the first books,
your best bet is the omni edition of 1-3,
Book 4, Control is 99c,
The newspaper was open to a seemingly random page toward the back, but when it caught my eye, I had to examine it further. Discreetly. Because studying such a thing would draw attention from the man I sat across from. The girl in the paper was naked, on her back, with her legs thrown over her head. The light cast the seam between her legs in shadow. Her hands were tucked behind her back, and she was gagged with black cloth. She looked uncomfortable. She looked unhappy. Worse, the picture’s appeal was in her miserable expression and the pleased yet benign expressions of the men watching her.
Only when I heard metal tapping against porcelain did I return my attention to the man across the table or, at the very least, to the ring clicking against his coffee cup. He picked up a business card he’d let drop next to the creamer.
I was ambivalent about the pinkie ring.
On the one hand, it ate at my trust. Who could have confidence in a man who wore one? On the other hand, its oddness was intriguing. Will Santon’s fingers slipped down his business card, pivoted it, rested it on the coffee shop table, and slid down its long side again. The fingers were thick and well-formed I imagined them sliding inside me two at a time, the ring resting against my asshole as the thumb teased my clit. I found the thought as unarousing as the woman in the paper. What normally would have sparked my desire, sparked exactly nothing. My mind was on sex all the time, but my body had taken a powder. I couldn’t feel a damn thing between my legs no matter how hard I thought about fucking.
“I promise you,” he said. “Your place is clean.”
“I believe that you believe that.” I twisted my teacup in its saucer. The pink roses were worn, and the saucer didn’t match. All the décor in the café was found, thrift-shopped, or rescued.
“I’ve been doing this a long time,” he said.
How long could he have been doing it though? He was thirty-five, tops, without a grey speck in his dark hair or his two-day-old black scruff. His eyes, grey as a rainy day, looked as though they’d seen their share of nastiness. His gaze did not waver, but I knew his peripheral vision was as clear as my narrow field. His jacket fit perfectly, but it was the open shirt collar, the haircut around the ears, and the comfortable shoes that told me who he was.
“You’re military,” I said.
“Something ending in ‘ops,’ I bet.” He didn’t answer. “My dad was killed in Saudi escorting a second-rate prince to some mosque.”
“I’m sorry to hear that.”
“You have kids, Mr. Santon?”
“Daughter. She’s four.”
And no wedding ring, I noticed. “Would you let your daughter go into that house?”
His gaze slipped to his empty cup. Black coffee. He’d finished his black coffee in a single swig when it was burning hot. “I got a call from your boyfriend—”
“He asked me to reassure you. I’m reassuring you.”
“You know what would reassure me?”
“For us to sweep it again?” His head was cocked as if he thought that would be an acceptable answer.
“Find out who it was.”
“We’re working on it.”
“I believe you are. And I’m sure he paid you a lot of money to come here and tell me my house was clean and you were working on it. But I’ll be reassured when I know who did it, not when Jonathan Drazen says it’s time to be reassured. Thanks for trying.”
“He also asked me to see if you looked okay, how you sounded. He said when you’re upset, it’s in your voice.”
I swallowed, feeling scrutinized in a way I hadn’t a second earlier. My chin went up a notch, and my shoulders straightened. I couldn’t help it. “I’m sure you’re not supposed to tell me that.”
“Do you know what I’m going to say to him?”
“No, and I don’t care,” I said, caring a great deal.
“I’ve heard terrified women. Some were scared for a moment when bad shit was happening, and others got beaten down by a daily, low-grade fear.” He arched an eyebrow, as if asking me which one I thought I was.
I stood. “You can tell him whatever you like, but if you tell him I’m anything but perfectly all right, he’s going to worry, and that’s going to make more work for you.”
“I don’t need the extra work.”
“Then you know what to say.”
Will stood and handed me the card he’d been fingering. “If you want the place swept again, call me, and I’ll have it done.” When I took the card, his pinky overshot its destination and brushed mine. Though the touch surprised me, it did not rouse any feelings between my legs.
The desire to be touched, to connect, to find commonality between myself and someone else overwhelmed my common sense. It wasn’t just anyone I wanted to touch. It was him.
Though I was alone by choice, I was desperately hurt. I carried around an ache in my chest and a cloying desire on my skin. I missed Jonathan. I missed his sharp tongue and his strong arms. Yes, I missed his dick and all our play, but it was the loss of his stare, the warmth of his attention, and the emotional safety of his sphere of influence made me feel unmoored.
Did I look scared? I leaned into Darren’s bathroom mirror. I looked the same to me. I could call him. I could see him just one time. Maybe I would. I put my mascara down and looked at my phone.
It was 8:59 in the morning. In one minute, my phone would bloop with some short, pithy message from Jonathan. He sent me a text at nine every morning on the dot. I never texted him back, and I never told him to stop. I had two weeks’ worth of pings from him, making sure that at least once a day, I thought of him. It was controlling in such a precise and unemotional way that on day four, when I realized what he was doing, I tapped him a livid response. But I never sent it. I thought of him so much more often than once a day anyway.
—Bring an umbrella. It’s going to rain—
I scrolled back. He had reports from DC:
—It is truly awful here—
—Another lunch meeting. Bullshit on the menu—
—You belong with me—
And when he got home.
—Debbie said you aren’t living in the house? Will Santon is going to call you—
—Sea and sky—
I’d replaced my beautiful platinum diamond navel ring with the fake one I’d bought when I got the piercing. I returned Jonathan’s through Yvonne, who had spent a lunch warning me about connections between BDSM and abuse, had left it in his office when no one was looking. The next morning, his nine a.m. text read:
—I’ll hold this for you—
He was so confident I would come back, and all he had to do was wait. It made me crazy. I wrote songs about how crazy he made me, scrawled on the backs of napkins or on my forearm while I raced down the freeway. I wrote verses about his eyes and choruses on his voice. I wanted to exorcise him through music, but I feared I was doing nothing more than keeping the burn in my belly alive.
The restaurant seemed specifically designed to attract entertainment industry types, like an oddly shaped orchid meant for the attentions of a specific species of insect. It was packed at lunch with agents and executives in suits, feeling up writers and artists for their commerciality and ass-fuckability.
I hummed to myself in the bathroom as I looked in the mirror for something to fix. I was fine, wearing two loose braids, a black dress, big stinking shoes, mascara. I’d even filed my nails. I was there to meet Eddie Milpas, and I looked better than fine. I looked fantastic.
When I walked back into the restaurant, he was being seated. I gave him my sterling silver customer service smile and sat when the waiter moved my chair. The window by our table overlooked the marina. On that windy November day, the boats swayed as if they were on a keyboard, playing scales.
“It’s nice to see you again,” he said. “I ordered appetizers, The calamari is fantastic.”
Eddie said, “So, I wanted to talk about what we’re looking for and what you have for us.” I nodded. “Jerry brought me your scratch cut a week ago, and I didn’t listen to it until the night before I saw you at Frontage. And when I did, I couldn’t believe you pulled it off. That song is a hit, Miss Faulkner. Not to be crass, but it has money written all over it.”
My smile went from customer service to nervous and uncontrollable. “I’m happy you like it.”
“I may need you to rerecord it with the right production value added.”
“I have another song I’d like to do.”
“We…meaning me and Harry Enrich, the president of Carnival…we really want that one.”
Two glasses of white wine came. He looked at me over his glass as took a sip. He had nice marble green eyes and brown hair. I may have taken a second look at him ages ago, before Jonathan. But for now, I was stuck. Temporarily, I reminded myself. Other men would appear, or none. Didn’t matter.
I placed my glass on the tablecloth, letting it make a wet crescent in the fabric. “Actually, that song’s no longer available.”
“Did you sell it?”
“No. It’s just unavailable.”
He tapped the edge of his glass. “This have to do with the person you were writing about?”
Eddie had seen me with Jonathan at the club. And Jonathan was aware that Eddie had heard the song. So it wasn’t as general a question as it seemed.
I wasn’t concerned with the existence or performance of the song. It could be played off as a metaphor or a story. Once my past with Jonathan, and his reputation, came into play, the song became about me and what I did in the bedroom. That meant that under Eddie’s gaze, at a meeting about my career, I felt naked and vulnerable. I felt his eyes slipping the dress off my body and his inexpert hands experimenting with pain.
“Look,” he said, “the BDSM thing is really hot right now, and we’re looking to capitalize. We’re going all in with the marketing. You’ll be an icon. Tall, beautiful woman in black leather, belting that thing out. We have more kinky songs ready to go, but no performer with real experience who can pull it off. I mean, the whole thing will fall apart on the Today Show if our singer uses the wrong phrase, right?”
The intensity of his imagination squeezed my lungs, forcing out the air. Everything I feared was happening, right then, and I hadn’t prepared myself for anxiety so strong that every coherent thought ran from my mind like brown specks running from a kicked anthill.
“The song isn’t available,” was all I could say.
He smiled with his perfect teeth and twinkling eyes. “You’ll figure it out. When you do, I’m pretty sure we can sign you.” He slipped the menus from the side of the table and handed me one. “You should try the yellowtail. It comes with artichokes that will knock your socks off.”
He opened his menu and pretended to look at it, but I knew he was wondering what I looked like on my knees, bound and gagged, legs spread, cunt wet and waiting for him. I pushed the image from my mind and just ordered the yellowtail.
As if feeling my discomfort, Eddie changed the subject. We talked about my plans for my musical future. I made up a bunch of stuff. Making plans was impossible when I had to take every opportunity that presented itself. Except this one. I had to turn this boat around. I had to go from Bondage Girl to something else, but I didn’t know what, and I didn’t know how. He seemed damned determined to stay on uptrending sexual fetishes as my brand. The more I engaged him on it, the more he’d expect me to say yes and the more I’d convince myself I was nothing more than a bound, spread-eagled fucktoy in his mind.
I didn’t want him to know I’d broken it off with Jonathan. I was unprotected without him—sexually available and emotionally vulnerable. Before Eddie had a chance to offer coffee, I used my job as an excuse to get the hell out of there.