Authors: Amy Valenti
Copyright ©2011 by Amy Valenti
First published in 2011
Dominance and Deception
ISBN # 978-0-85715-722-5
(C)Copyright Amy Valenti 2011
Cover Art by Posh Gosh (C)Copyright October 2011
Edited by Rebecca Hill
This is a work of fiction. All characters, places and events are from the author's imagination and should not be confused with fact. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, events or places is purely coincidental.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any material form, whether by printing, photocopying, scanning or otherwise without the written permission of the publisher, Total-E-Bound Publishing.
Applications should be addressed in the first instance, in writing, to Total-E-Bound Publishing. Unauthorised or restricted acts in relation to this publication may result in civil proceedings and/or criminal prosecution.
The author and illustrator have asserted their respective rights under the Copyright Designs and Patents Acts 1988 (as amended) to be identified as the author of this book and illustrator of the artwork.
Published in 2011 by Total-E-Bound Publishing, Think Tank, Ruston Way, Lincoln, LN6 7FL, United Kingdom.
This book contains sexually explicit content which is only suitable for mature readers. This story has a
The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of the following wordmarks mentioned in this work of fiction:
The Naked Detective
: Playboy Enterprises, Inc.
Polaroid: Polaroid Corporation
eBay: eBay Inc.
: Henson Associates
"What do we have, Layton?” Draining my coffee cup and throwing it into the trash, I looked over at the rookie cop, who was frowning at something on his computer screen.
"Surveillance camera footage from outside the club—the smoking area.” Layton beckoned us over to his desk, and Beaumont and Santoro rose from their chairs to join us in front of the screen.
"There's our victim, Samuel Leigh,” Beaumont pointed out, gesturing to a figure leaning against the wall, smoking a cigarette.
"There's a seriously hot chick,” Santoro added, tilting his head to the side as if that would enable him to get a three hundred and sixty degree view.
Wait. I know that face...
I scowled at the screen, recognition clicking into place in my mind.
"And there's Santoro's hot chick picking Sam Leigh's pocket.” Layton glanced over at me. “We can get Faye to clean up the image, get a possible ID?"
"I already know her ID.” That got the team's attention, and they remained silent, waiting for more. I gave them the bare minimum. “Laura Morgan."
In my peripheral vision, I was dimly aware of someone stopping dead in their tracks, then changing course to approach. Glancing over, I recognised Faye Tate, one of our forensic specialists. She was the most efficient and the most beautiful, though I'd never breached the precinct's protocol in order to ask her out.
I was gonna have my hands full enough with the woman who'd shown up in my case's security footage.
"You know her, boss?” Layton asked.
"Uh-huh...” I stared at the image of the tall brunette, remembering times past and wondering exactly what else she'd been hiding from me back then.
"Let me guess,” Santoro said. “Gotta be an ex-girlfriend."
"Yup.” They were gonna find out anyway.
Might as well get the revelation over with so they can focus on the case, rather than my romantic connection to Laura
"Layton, pull me up her phone number—I don't have it on me."
As Layton obediently began to tap information into his computer, an interruption came from an unexpected quarter. “Cancel that order, Layton. I have her on speed-dial."
Faye had my attention. She leaned against Santoro's desk, toying with her cell phone and avoiding my gaze, and my mind came up with an idea I hoped like hell wasn't true.
Santoro beat me to the question. “How do you have Pierce's ex's number, Faye?"
She shrugged. “If you have the security tape of the dance floor, you'll see."
Layton switched to another tape, which showed the bar area and part of the dance floor. I transferred my suspicious glare from Faye to the screen and, in silence, we all watched Laura enter the picture, tucking something into her purse before grabbing the arm of a familiar, red-headed figure.
While her image on-screen turned with a smile and hugged Laura, Faye stepped away from the team, hitting speed-dial and raising the phone to her ear. Quietly, she spoke to Laura, her voice a murmur I couldn't quite make out.
"Ahh.” Empathetic as always, Erica Beaumont was the first to catch on, and she shot a sidelong glance at me, which I chose to ignore. Before my eyes, Laura and Faye headed onto the dance floor, beginning to move together in a dance that began as flirtatious, then became teasing, then overtly sensual.
I hardly needed to look over at Santoro and Layton to know they were both acting as though Christmas had come early. If it wasn't for the fact I knew both of the women involved, I'd probably have found the wonderstruck expressions on my male cops’ faces amusing.
The whole team knew Faye was bisexual—when we'd all gone for drinks on Santoro's birthday last year, she'd brought a female date. I didn't get how Santoro and Layton could react exactly the same way today as they had then, but I had bigger things to worry about.
Faye ended the call just as the tape showed her pulling Laura into an almost possessive kiss. With an impatient growl, I rounded on her. “Stairwell, Faye. Now."
She hesitated, then nodded. Without waiting for her to move, I took off at a stride, trying to quell the conflicting emotions demanding my attention without identifying any of them.
Behind me, Faye plucked the remote from Santoro's hand and gave it to Beaumont with a pleading smile. “Do me a favour? Analyse the footage, but don't let them—"
analyse? Don't worry, Faye.” I glanced back to watch Beaumont give her a knowing nod. Before anyone could begin to bombard her with questions, Faye took a deep breath and walked towards me.
We waited in silence for the stairwell door to close behind us, then I stepped forward, invading her personal space to scowl down at her. “You know she was my ex when you started dating?"
"We met the night you two split up,” Faye said, scuffing one boot against the concrete floor. “Laura was crying into her drink, and I asked her what was wrong. She told me she'd split up with someone, and I offered her a sympathetic ear, but it was nearly an hour before I figured out it was you, Zach, I swear."
Exasperated, I verbally pushed her. “But you started a relationship with her anyway."
"Why not?” Her voice was slightly rebellious. “You didn't want her anymore. And don't tell me you've never hit on a girl who's on the rebound, just because she's too pretty to be hurting alone?"
I had, and she probably knew it, but it wasn't what I wanted to talk about—there were way more pressing issues at hand. “What did she tell you, Faye?"
She couldn't stop herself smiling through her irritation. “Nothing bad that I hadn't already figured out about you. I learned some interesting new things, though..."
My gut twisted, and I prayed I was wrong
If she knows...
I had no idea what I'd do then. “And you didn't think to stop her out of courtesy to me?"
My confrontational tone just pissed her off. “Zach! She didn't use your name until she'd started to repeat herself—how was I supposed to know she meant you?"
She had a good point, which irritated me even more. Forcing myself to calm down, I waited a few seconds before asking the vital question. “She tell you where we met?"
The air seemed to thicken with tension, and Faye's eyes widened with sudden understanding. Even before she gave a brief nod, I saw it coming, and I cursed under my breath, backing off to give us both space while I processed the situation.
"So you know.” This was the one thing I'd planned never to reveal to her. My feelings for Faye were so complex that most days I couldn't make sense of them, but I'd always known I wanted her. I'd kept it hidden for a long time, partly because she was a close friend and co-worker, but mostly because of the
I wanted her. Countless times I'd imagined her kneeling at my feet, waiting for me to subvert her to my will.
Now she knew I had those tendencies inside me, it would be harder to resist the urge to act on them. Things had just got a hundred times more complicated than I'd ever wanted.
I couldn't look her in the eye...until her slightly amused response shocked me into it. “That you're a Dominant? Zach, I've known that since the first day I met you. What I can't figure out is how I've never seen you around at Rack and Ruin in all the time I've been going there."
As she named the bi-monthly fetish night at Club Alterna, I could only stare at her slightly lifted brows and the smile that played about her lips. Right then, I was so far out of my comfort zone I had no idea how to react. “You go there regularly?"
Faye shrugged casually. “On and off. Sometimes I'll be there every time for a few months, then I stop for a while. It was my first night there in nearly three months when I ran into Laura."
"You met her
? Faye, are you topping my ex-submissive?” The question fell from my lips before I could stop it, the slow smoulder of jealousy at the back of my mind roaring into an inferno.
"I didn't play with her that first night—she was way too over-emotional!” Faye said defensively.