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Authors: Emily Ryan-Davis

Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #Erotica, #Romantic, #Romance, #Contemporary

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BOOK: Dominating Amy
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“One moment please.” The receptionist put her back on hold. Amy distracted herself from nervous anxiety by rifling through the assortment of creams, cloths, powders, and brushes on the seat until she found a wet wipe. She carefully cleaned the blue streak from her nose, keeping an eye on the dashboard clock. The receptionist was gone so long she began to wonder whether she’d been disconnected. The hold music had cut out ages ago. No, it only
seemed
like ages ago. Amy had painting her face in the front seat of a car down to a science. She could get from foundation to lip gloss, all layers between included, in seven minutes—coincidentally the same amount of time it took the rear and front windows of her car to defrost in the winter.

“Hello, miss? I need your account number in order to determine which of our technicians has worked with your company before. Once I have that information, I can send somebody out.”

“Not ‘somebody.’
Mac.
Is he available?”

“Who we send depends upon the nature of the problem,” the receptionist said politely.

Amy rolled her eyes. Procedure drove her nuts. “Look, it’s very important that I have Mac.”

“Oh, um…” Another phone line started ringing on the receptionist’s end. “Can you hold again?”

“No. I’m running late. Please send him to 1743 Franklin Boulevard, Suite 25-C. It’s on the third floor.”

“Can you call back as soon as possible with your account number, Miss…?”

“Corcoran.
Amy Corcoran.”

“Oh! Are you—“

 “I really need to go. Please send Mac as soon as possible.”

“Of course, Mrs. Corcoran.
Have a good morning!”

“You too.”
Amy exhaled slowly. She fastened her seatbelt and, moments later, pulled into traffic. She preferred to show up for photo shoots early, and this morning, she’d need the extra time to compose herself. “Flustered” wasn’t a good look on camera.
Or in the face of an irate husband.

 

Chapter Two
 

 

Mac Corcoran checked the code on his pager twice, once with disbelief, the second time with resignation. He’d just finished troubleshooting a chain of software problems for a minor celebrity who had decided two a.m. was the perfect time for recording his new album. His ears were still ringing from the client’s music--literally. The guy was some kind of character, piping his own tunes into every one of the eleven rooms in his downtown brownstone--and he stank of cigarette smoke. He wanted a shower and a long sleep.

The timing for both couldn’t be better. His wife left for the gym and, when she had an assignment, work, at six a.m. Her routine left Mac with a quiet house and a warm bed, both empty of the woman he couldn’t face. He knew she’d lied about having too much to drink at Elizabeth’s birthday party. Elizabeth didn’t serve alcohol because the habits and practices of her social circle could quickly become reckless and dangerous if decision-making skills were impaired. No, wine wasn’t to blame for the severity of her reaction to being bound by a guest demonstrating knot techniques.
He
was. He shouldn’t have left her to attend by herself. He should’ve been there to catch her when she crashed from whatever sensory high she’d discovered. Mac had known about her growing interest in Elizabeth’s lifestyle for years. He should know how to shield her from her vulnerabilities, but instead of learning, he’d chosen to turn his head. Fear had driven him to ignore Amy’s interest but they’d reached a crossroads and Mac had to make a choice. He’d never backed away from hard decisions before but this one…his cowardice left him sleeping on the couch when they happened to both be in at the same time. The bed was a rare luxury.

The last-minute assignment that came across his pager blew his sleep plans right out of the water. Mac dialed the dispatch office. Renee, the new receptionist, answered the phone.

“I’m off-shift,” Mac barked, rougher than intended. “Give the call to one of the guys coming on.”

The new girl, halfway through her automatic hello-thanks-for-calling greeting, stammered to a stop. She was quiet a full minute before venturing, “Mac?”

“Yeah.
You just paged me with a new assignment. I’m off as of fifteen minutes ago. I’m going home. Give it to someone else.”

“The client requested you.”

Mac rubbed his jaw, which was scratchy with the beginnings of a beard. Shower, clean clothes, sleep, maybe breakfast—they were all he wanted. That wasn’t asking too much, was it? He and his wife weren’t speaking, and his assignments lately were shit jobs. He deserved a little luxury. He didn’t say any of that to Renee, though. Instead, he asked, “What are the specifics?”

“Um.
She didn’t say.”

Code phrase for “the receptionist didn’t ask.”
Mac bit back his irritation. “Who’s the client?”

“I, uh…”

“You did get her name, right?”

“The receptionist who just clocked out took the call and set it up.” Renee rushed the words. “All I have is an address and a time.”

Mac’s jaw clenched. “When’s the job?”

“Half an hour from now.”

He swore.
“Location?”

Renee named a site downtown. With the morning commuter traffic in full swing, it would take him the entire thirty to get there. “I’m going to be late. If she calls back, tell her I’m on the way. And try to get a name, will you?”

“S-sure.”

Mac disconnected the call and pocketed his cell phone. He needed a cup of coffee, the bigger and blacker, the better. No, he thought, as he navigated commuter traffic and tried to shake off exhaustion. What he needed was his wife, focused on him, wanting him, instead of the man he couldn’t bring himself to be. The coffee was a poor substitute.

Amy
. He closed his eyes and tipped his head back against his seat.
To hell with breakfast or sleep.
He wanted her beneath him, naked and warm, her nipples hardening for his mouth, her pussy creaming for his fingers. She used to keep herself waxed for him, smooth and slippery for his tongue, but the salon charge wasn’t showing up on the bank statement anymore. He didn’t care. He’d happily nose past her blonde curls to lick the spot he knew made her shriek and writhe.
Except she didn’t want that anymore.
She wanted…damn, if he knew what.
Bondage.
Pain.
Every time he tried to make sense of her new interests, his cock grew heavy and hard so fast he scared himself. Amy in pain shouldn’t arouse him. He shouldn’t even be able to envision himself standing over her, belt in hand,
pink
streaks across the backs of her thighs. Shouldn’t, but somehow he did.

He wanted to punish her for making herself vulnerable to another man, for losing herself so thoroughly Elizabeth had to call him to explain Amy couldn’t drive herself home. Elizabeth didn’t pass Amy’s condition off as a result of wine. Sub-space, she’d called it, the glassy shine in Amy’s dazed eyes.
Later, while Amy slept fitfully, Mac
Googled
the phrase.
He’d immediately arranged to switch his work shifts to conflict with hers, knowing he’d fucked up, not knowing how to face her. She needed more than he could give.

 

Chapter Three
 

 

 

Amy had creamy, freckle-free skin. It was perfect for this assignment because it showed every little mark any toy could possibly make. The photographer didn’t even have to employ the merchandise very heavily to get the desired effect. That’s what her agent said, anyway. He assured Amy the whole affair, product photography for an adult toys mail-order catalogue, was on the level. She had to sign release paperwork stating she wouldn’t sue the distributor for sexual harassment. In turn, the contract promised she wouldn’t actually be penetrated or beaten, and any clamps or other potentially bruising items wouldn’t be realistically employed.

Strictly on the level,
Amy told herself as she walked into the studio, which was set up in a leased office space. Framed photographs, all figure work, adorned the beige walls. The receptionist wore a tidy black skirt and blazer. She smiled when Amy checked in and retrieved her paperwork. The professional smile and lack of piercings were a plus. Professional artists who dressed professionally earned points.

Amy checked her wristwatch a dozen times as she filled out the forms. Every time somebody in the corridor walked by, she jerked her head up.

“Relax,” the receptionist said.

Amy glanced at the young woman, who smiled and added, “Christophe is a great photographer.
Very professional.
And you look fantastic, just like you’re supposed to. It’ll be fine.”

“My agent told me I was supposed to bring an assistant,” Amy said, a lilt to the last word, making it a question. “I’m worried he’ll be late and hold things up.”

“A third person in a session is standard procedure. Somebody has to arrange the props so he can take pictures. Given the subject matter of this spread, we’ve found most models are more comfortable with their own people. If your assistant’s late, I’ll stand in temporarily. Christophe wants his models to feel safe and secure. It’s all fine to acknowledge liability claims on paper, but paper is no substitute for having a physical presence to ensure all dealings remain satisfactory for both the photographer and the model.”

“Ah.” Amy didn’t have much more to add to that. “Thanks.” She even managed a smile, however insincere. She honestly wasn’t as concerned about the shoot as she was Mac’s reaction. She was gambling her entire marriage on an impulsive decision to show him she needed him. To show him
how
she needed him, in control, pushing her past barriers she hadn’t known she wanted to cross when they were newer to their relationship. If her decision backfired, if he was offended she brought him into this situation, if she lost him…she didn’t know what she would do.

She’d never loved anybody else. She always knew Mac was the one, from the day his family moved into the vacancy across the hall from her family’s apartment, when she was thirteen and he was fifteen. She fell in love with his sullen mouth and wanted to make an ice pack for the black eye he’d earned in an alley brawl with the tougher boys from the complex. Later, she’d wanted to comfort him when he fled from his father’s heavy hand and his mother’s refusal to say ‘enough’. He’d been a damaged boy but had built himself into an unbreakable man with an unbreakable life. What would he want now with a fragile wife?

The office door swung open. Amy’s head jerked up and her heart leapt into her throat. Mac stopped on the threshold. His eyes narrowed on her hair. Confusion, followed by anger, crossed his features. “What is this?”

 “I’m sorry I
tr

didn’t call you directly,” she said in a hurry, self-consciously brushing aside her magenta fringe. “I didn’t know if you had your phone with you.”

He glanced at the receptionist, who half-stood to greet him, and withdrew into the corridor.

Amy murmured a wordless reassurance to the photographer’s secretary and followed Mac. She nearly ran into him in the corridor. His proximity fired a bolt of awareness to her pleasure points. She drew a shaky breath, too attuned to the heavy pulse of her sex. The breath didn’t help. Suddenly she could smell him, yesterday’s aftershave and the scent of his skin, and before she thought to stop herself, she touched him.

Mac’s biceps jumped beneath her fingers. Amy started to pull back but something stopped her and she pressed with her fingernails instead, whispering, “Mac.”

“Renee said a client phoned in an emergency.” He squinted at the lettering on the nameplate beside the door. It bore the photographer’s name and profession, nothing else.

“I called.” She inched closer, made contact, her breasts brushing his chest, her sweater and his rumpled Oxford providing a scanty barrier.

“You don’t need me here.” He looked past her head, not even acknowledging her with his eyes, and
retreated
a step.

Amy flinched.
Need
was the verb that had begun their current estrangement. His tone imitated her own perfectly, just as it had the night of Elizabeth’s party. She’d wanted Mac to attend with her but he refused to go anywhere near Elizabeth’s crowd. Hurt and angry, Amy had told him she didn’t
need
him with her, anyway, and gone alone. Mac hadn’t looked her in the eye since. That was months ago, and she still didn’t know how to take the words back. They were as irrevocable as the avalanche of bad decisions she’d made after leaving him home and going by herself.
Including this bad decision.
He didn’t want her.

“I need an assistant or I can’t have the job,” Amy whispered, striving to keep the exchange private. She dropped her hand to her side and tried to catch Mac’s gaze, but he didn’t give an inch.

“Work that out with your agent.”

“The job started five minutes ago. Please stay.” Her voice hitched on the last word. She couldn’t bring herself to finish it, to add, “With me.” Instead she said, “You
have
to stay.”

“Amy, I’m
tired
.” He rubbed his eyes, which were bloodshot and moist. Tired tears, she thought, and almost gave in. The strain of the job, of months of working graveyard, marked his rough features with purple shadows and new lines at the corners of his eyes and lips. The rugged quality of his face, the way his jaw showed strength and his brow showed dedication, perfectly fit her definition of beauty. She spent hours, sometimes whole days, with men who met the polished standards of male beauty, but Mac was her
David
.  She knew every inch of his face by touch alone.

“What is this really about?” he asked wearily. “You could’ve brought anybody else.”

Amy swallowed. “I want to show you things.
To show you me.”

“I already know you.”

“No you don’t,” she whispered.

Mac recoiled. He took another step away. “Don’t do this.”

The door to the studio opened. Christophe, the photographer, stood in the doorway. “Is there a problem?”

Biting her lip, she watched Mac and prayed he wouldn’t leave. Mac’s eyes were inscrutable, flashing with either anger or pain as he studied her and ignored Christophe. Amy mouthed, “Please.” An instant later, Mac set his jaw and moved past the slimmer man into the studio. The photographer raised his brows expectantly at Amy. At a loss, she followed her husband.

 

Tall, spindly lamps, some illuminated and some dimmed, marked different areas of the studio, itself the size of a large corporate office. It could have held a big boardroom table or a few small cubicles. Christophe had divided it into three different sets. He had not, Amy noted, provided even so much as a privacy curtain for disrobing and changing costumes. She briefly considered asking for one. Mac’s presence suddenly made her feel small and shy.
Vulnerable.
She chanced a quick check of his face and regretted it. The tendons in his neck strained and his cheeks were pale. He was furious; she’d made a stupid, stupid mistake. Her breath shortened and she looked away.

Impervious to the rage heating the space between them, the photographer gestured toward the wardrobe corner. "Amy, let's get started."    

The wardrobe was a rolling rack of costumes against the wall opposite the windows. The rack tempted her to run and hide behind it. She could move it a little, use it as a makeshift privacy wall and hide from Mac’s glare. Not that she would have privacy once she left the safety of the wardrobe. The straps and buckles, stockings and
cupless
bras that peeked from amidst an array of role-play costumes exposed rather than concealed. Amy eyed the assortment of fetish wear, trying and failing to picture herself in even the tamest French maid get-up. Maybe if she found something modest, Mac would calm down a little.

God, this was such a mistake. Any minute now, Mac would walk out and she’d get home to find him gone forever. Maybe she should call it off, run out to the office and tear up the release paperwork, call her agent and cancel the job. Gripping the top edge of a straight back chair upon which the photographer or his assistant had dropped a short dressing gown for her comfort, she willed her knees to stop shaking. She’d had to remove her wedding ring for the pictures, but the white band around her finger reminded her well enough where her priorities lay. She couldn’t back out. This was the only way she knew to show Mac what she wanted. If she called it off now, she wouldn’t have another chance.

She dug deep for strength and headed for the costume rack. Mac moved into the opposite corner of the studio.

She positioned the rack at an angle and edged behind it to unbutton her sweater. The short rack left her shoulders and upper chest visible over the hanger hooks and she could see Mac clearly over the walls of the cubicle dividers. He stared at her, lips drawn in a tight line. Startled by the direct eye contact, she looked away.  The first costume she grabbed was a shimmery mermaid thing. She flipped it over her head and emerged a moment later in a shell bra and an iridescent skirt that didn’t reach her thighs.

 "Which set?" She directed the question to Christophe, who was sorting through camera lenses. He lifted his head and frowned.

"Costumes are for another shoot. I need you to work with accessories today. Start with the strap-on harnesses."

Heat suffused her cheeks. This was hell, and she'd chosen it for herself with a ridiculous scheme to win back her husband by appealing to his libido and macho sensibilities instead of just talking to him. Disgusted with herself and avoiding Mac's gaze, she yanked the little green and pink costume over her head, and snatched up a tangle of black leather and steel buckles. A heavy pink dildo, obscenely long and designed specifically for wearing with a harness, dangled from the crotch ring.

Amy hid behind the costume rack. Buckles and grommets clinked against one another. Her untrained hands made a mess of the interconnected bits of leather. Whole minutes ticked away. The photographer flashed light from different angles, preparing his set. She caught him darting an impatient glance in her direction and frustrated tears pricked the backs of her eyelids.

“Stupid and impossible,” she mumbled beneath her breath, struggling to disengage her wrist from the snaky leather.

“Hold still.” Mac, suddenly standing at her elbow, took over. He pulled the harness from her hands and deftly shook it into submission.  “Step in,” he instructed, bending and holding it low so she could slip her feet through the loops.

She hesitated. He had lowered his head and angled his face away from her. She couldn’t even see the set of his mouth. His tone was too neutral, too flat, for her to pull any meaning from it. He’d made himself deliberately unreadable.

“You don’t have to stay,” she whispered.

Mac tensed. “Yes, I do. Step in.” A growl lurked beneath his even words.

Amy clutched the shoulder of his jacket and stepped into the leather circles he held stretched between his hands. He pulled the harness up roughly, adjusted the length of the leg straps and tightened the waist buckle to fit around her hips. Cold metal nestled below her navel.

“Fix this.” Mac tapped the bulbous head of the dildo that jutted away from her abdomen. She gripped his shoulder harder but he shrugged free and retreated to a corner of the conference room turned studio.

Clumsily, she fumbled the latex phallus into place. The rubber-spongy texture made her skin crawl. Her stomach rebelled at the unfamiliar girth of the synthetic shaft. She’d never wrapped her hand around a penis, fake or otherwise, that didn’t belong to Mac.

BOOK: Dominating Amy
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