Authors: Ella Ardent
Fourth of the Erotic Romance Novellas
In The Phoenix Series
Once upon a time, two partners built a wildly successful private BDSM club called The Plume, a place where every erotic fantasy could safely come true. When The Plume was destroyed and its members scattered, the partners decided not just to begin again but to improve on the original.
Welcome to The Phoenix, an international private BDSM club, risen from the ashes of The Plume. Once again, all erotic fantasies are possible and secret desires can be fulfilled.
* * *
Amy has to prove herself to Rex and Athena by figuring out how to fulfill some fantasies that appear to be impossible: she starts with Caitlyn’s desire to have one last night with her dead lover, Luke. Amy has it all planned out, but she’s not counting on Luke’s buddy, Zach, much less his fantasies that feature Caitlyn. Meanwhile, Steele tries to win his way back into Athena’s affections, with surprising results.
by Ella Ardent
Published by Ella Ardent
Fantasia Frog Designs
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Copyright © 2015 Ella Ardent
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The braided leather rope slid across her skin, the black leather contrasting with the creamy perfection of her waist. She shivered when the knot was made and tugged tight, binding her elbows to her waist securely. It was as if she knew it was better for her to be controlled, as if she welcomed the restraint.
Her captor wrapped the rope around her again, letting it slowly slide across her body until she shuddered and gasped with pleasure. He noticed her nipples were tight, and loved that he was responsible for her arousal.
He would make her his own.
He would claim her forever.
He would teach her to rely only upon him.
He made another knot, securing her for their mutual pleasure, and she moaned in capitulation.
The room was dark, the air like velvet against the skin. The room was small enough to add to the intimacy of their game, and lit only by flickering candles. The only furniture was an ottoman, a large tufted one upholstered in black velvet, with a thick dark rug beneath. Her hair was the color of bittersweet chocolate, wild and curly and thick, just another part of her that was unchecked. He liked it loose, spilling over her shoulders, escaping his bonds. He ran his fingers through it, gripped her nape to lift her and kissed her possessively.
She was his.
She arched her back and opened her mouth, utterly submissive and so wet he didn’t know how he’d wait to take her.
He was hard and ready for her, a pulse throbbing in the base of his cock. He’d put on a cock ring to help him to hold back, because he wanted this first time to last for hours, and the torment was exquisite. The smell of her, the feel of her, the response she made, all combined to make him doubt he could make this time last as long as he wanted.
He rolled her to her stomach next, loving how she spread her legs wide for him in invitation. She was complicit in her bondage, actively surrendering to her captivity.
He might keep her bound all night long.
He might keep her captive forever.
The very idea was thrilling and he whispered it to her, liking how she bit her bottom lip and moaned.
He knotted the rope behind her waist, then bound her ankles to her butt, one at a time, securing them with that braided leather rope. She had time to jerk away, time to make a run for it, time to escape. She didn’t even try, although he might suggest that they play an abduction game one night. He wondered whether she’d like that as much as he would.
On this night, she shivered and gasped, then surrendered completely. She was hog-tied and helpless when he turned her over again and wet enough to drip. Her lips worked as if she would speak and he laid a heavy finger across them to remind her to be silent. She shuddered beneath his hand and he felt the quiver that came from deep inside her.
He’d never seen her so aroused.
He’d never wanted her so badly.
He leaned down and put his lips against her ear to whisper. He told her what he’d do to her. He told her how hard he’d take her. He told her how long it would last. He forbade her to come and she moaned. She squirmed against the velvet as she arched her back and parted her lips to beg.
“Luke,” she whispered, her voice husky and aching with need. “Luke,
At that, Zach’s eyes flew open.
He exhaled, shaken by the vivid dream.
No. It was a fantasy.
A recurring one. He couldn’t decide if that was bad or good. It was hell to tease himself with this dream, but he loved it too.
It was, in fact, the perfect balance of pleasure and pain.
Though it might drive him insane.
Zach was in his apartment, alone, and the living room was still lit with the faint blue glow from his laptop. It was dark enough to be the middle of the night, but he was still wearing jeans and a sweatshirt, even though he’d flung himself across the bed.
He had an erection so huge and hard it was painful, and he winced as he got to his feet.
It was pouring rain, the drops falling hard against the windows of his apartment, and the air had turned chilly. There was nothing like November in Seattle. Zach headed for the kitchen, irritable that Caitlyn could haunt him so reliably yet remain so elusive. Would it ever end? Did he want it to? Why the fuck did she still want Luke? She’d
want Luke and Zach knew it, as much as he might have wished otherwise. He tore open a bag of tortilla chips, ate a handful and didn’t even taste them. He dropped the bag on the counter.
What he needed was some sleep.
What he needed was to stop thinking about that picture of Caitlyn on Luke’s phone, to stop thinking about that last argument with Luke, to stop having fantasies about Luke’s girlfriend.
Because Luke was dead, and it was Zach’s fault, and Caitlyn was completely devastated. That was a smooth move, no matter how he looked at it. He’d broken the heart of the woman he loved, and Luke’s death was a mistake Zach could never make right.
He got a beer from the fridge and opened it, chugging back a third of it without hesitation.
The problem wasn’t Caitlyn, who was gorgeous and so sweet that he’d never imagined she liked naughty sex games. There was something wild and untamed about her that got him right where he lived, that made him want to restrain her and teach her and possess her completely. There was something about her, maybe the mischievous twinkle in her eyes or maybe her unpredictable whims that made him think he’d never be confident she was fully his. The game would never end. The captivity would never be absolute. She’d always be like a flame that could slip through his fingers when he wasn’t looking.
That must be why Caitlyn seemed like the perfect obsession.
Zach certainly couldn’t stop thinking about her, but that wasn’t her fault.
The problem wasn’t that The Plume was gone, either, even though regular visits to the private club had always taken the edge off of Zach’s forbidden desires. He felt a little out of control himself, because he hadn’t been able to satisfy his need to dominate.
The problem wasn’t even Luke, who was dead thanks to an argument with his supposed-best friend.
The problem was Zach and his double life. Everyone thought he was a nice guy. Everyone thought he was the successful businessman, the straight arrow, the one who never lost control or spoke out of turn. He was in control because he liked it that way. He loved managing details—and restraining his lovers. He liked to figure out what most excited a woman, then to make her his captive and torment her with pleasure. He loved being in charge.
He also loved keeping his sex life a secret. In his world of high finance, it paid to be the squeaky clean man of integrity just as it paid to buy killer suits. Image was everything—and playing BDSM games on the side wasn’t part of Zach’s image.
Luke had known the truth about Zach. They’d been buddies forever because even at four years of age, they’d sensed that common ground, that taste for risk. While Luke flaunted his need for danger, Zach managed appearances. Luke had kept Zach’s secret—and Zach had rewarded that loyalty by betraying the best buddy he had. He’d known better than to let Luke rip out of town in his Mustang when he’d had too much to drink, but he’d been too pissed off to even try to stop him.
Zach’s fault Luke was dead. He’d never fallen for one woman before. He’d never had one specific woman feature in all of his fantasies, and he’d never had the sound of one woman’s voice make his day before. Caitlyn, with her wild hair and her creativity, the daring gleam in her eyes and the sweet curve of her ass made him believe in forever for the first time. He’d known it the moment he’d met her, just the way it was supposed to be, according to the romantic comedies. An emotional connection was new for Zach, who had loved the physical connection with many women for a day or two, but Caitlyn’s allure wasn’t fading. In fact, the feeling was getting stronger.
He supposed it made sense that she was forbidden fruit.
That was why he’d lost it with Luke. He’d had to defend the woman he loved, so to speak. Luke had been fucking with him, because Luke
, and Zach had lost it for the first time ever.
And now Luke was dead.
But the really bad part was that Zach’s guilt didn’t change how much he wanted Caitlyn, although it did make it impossible for him to do anything about it. He was Luke’s buddy, Caitlyn’s shoulder to cry on, her pillar of strength as she mourned the guy who hadn’t deserved her.
Who hadn’t really even wanted her.
From Zach’s view, he had two choices—he could tell Caitlyn the truth about Luke and she’d call him a liar, and never speak to him again. The prospect made his guts clench.
Or, he would tell Caitlyn the truth about being in love with in her, and all the ways he wanted to demonstrate his adoration. She’d be creeped out and never speak to him again. That would be even worse.
The only real choice was to shut up, play along, console her and keep himself in anguish.
Even if it was hell.
And he was some kind of sorry bastard that he couldn’t ditch the picture at the root of it all. That picture had challenged everything for him. Zach had already been crazy for Caitlyn, with her laughter and her enthusiasm, but seeing her exactly the way he would have liked to have taken her, shorted his circuits.
Deleting the picture was out of the question, even though he had a bad feeling about keeping it.
Unable to resist temptation in his current state, Zach pulled out his phone and checked out the picture again. Luke had sent him the photo on that fateful night, and it was the image that had fueled Zach’s every dream and fantasy since. He caught his breath and stared at Caitlyn, trussed up tight, bound and blindfolded.
She was smiling.
She was hog-tied and helpless, but clearly ecstatic. Her back was arched and her thighs were spread wide, wide enough that the flash glistened off her wet puss.