Something akin to fear stirred in Gwen’s belly as he approached the bar, shooting her a predatory smile.
Damien was the last person she wanted to see. Just the few moments of anticipating his proximity filled her with dread. He had made his interest clear ever since he had come to Dark Grove Plantation for the first time three months ago. Despite the presence of dozens of other gorgeous, single submissives, he had honed in on her, the only one who was definitely unavailable.
And to make it worse, she was fiercely attracted to him too. He was undeniably beautiful, his meticulous grooming matching his carefully controlled manner. There was no trace of stubble on his square jaw, and his black hair was always carefully styled. The man was fit, his muscles obvious beneath the suits that he always wore. There was power in his every movement, and he dominated the space around him. And his eyes: such a dark brown that they were nearly black. They reminded Gwen of a demon’s eyes. A sexy incubus who would lure her in with no more than a look before devouring her body and her soul…
The women that he passed by on his way to the bar watched him hungrily. But he ignored them, his eyes locked on Gwen.
Why me? She wondered, a bit miserably. What could he possibly see in me?
Gwen had to admit to herself that she liked her wavy blonde hair and light green eyes, but she was short and undeniably curvy. Her large breasts were a bonus, she supposed, but she wouldn’t mind having a little less weight on her hips.
She sighed, struggling to push back her insecurities and put on a brave face. She plastered on her usual bright smile.
“Hi, Damien,” she greeted. ‘What can I get for you?”
His black eyes bored into her as his leer twisted down into a frown.
“I would prefer it if you addressed me as ‘Sir,’” he replied tersely.
Now it was Gwen’s turn to frown. “What can I get for you, Damien?” She placed emphasis on his name. No way was she calling him “Sir.” She was afraid that the word would taste too sweet on her tongue, and she didn’t think that she could handle that.
His expression turned forbidding, and Gwen had to fight back an urge to shrink away.
“Are you being intentionally rude, sub?” He asked softly. “Because you have to know that I won’t tolerate it. Not from you.”
Gwen crossed her arms over her chest, trying to convey her annoyance. But instead it felt more like she was protecting herself. Damien’s eyes flicked down to her breasts, which were pressed together wantonly by her stance. Gwen quickly shifted so that her hands were on her hips instead. But Damien’s eyes did not shift; they burned her like a hot touch, and she felt her nipples pebble against the inside of her corset.
“If you have a problem with me, then you can report it to management,” she snapped to cover her discomfiture. “But I have to warn you that they won’t take too kindly when I let them know that you’re harassing me.”
That got his attention. His eyes returned her gaze directly, his gaze steady, challenging. Gwen held it for a few long moments, but it was difficult; she had to fight the urge to drop her eyes submissively in the wake of his hard stare. Eventually, his frown curled upward in a small, amused smile, as though he was impressed by her.
“I do enjoy a challenge, Gwen,” he said, his voice low and rough. “But you must know that I always win in the end; I always get what I want. You’ll break eventually.”
This time Gwen couldn’t repress a small shiver at the intensity of his words. A part of her wanted that fiercely, wanted him to take her, to bend her to his will. But that wouldn’t happen. Not ever. She knew that he would break her open, would lay her soul bare. She wouldn’t be able to hide anything from him. And that terrified her. She had been hurt too many times before to allow herself to be vulnerable like that.
“So, what’s your poison?” She asked insistently.
The man’s drink was as refined as he was. And just as intense, burning as it slid down your throat…
She was grateful for the excuse to turn away from him as she poured his drink. But the tension was still there, pulsing between them like a palpable thing. And his scent was there; soap and pine.
Stop that! She told herself firmly. I’m not interested, I’m not interested…
She went to set his glass on the bar, and he grasped it quickly, letting his hand touch hers as he took it from her. He lingered for a moment, and Gwen found that she didn’t want to break the contact. His touch sent little tingles of electricity running up her arm and down her spine. She felt her sex flare to life, heating and pulsing.
She jerked her hand away, almost causing the glass to tip over. Damien steadied it quickly, not allowing the golden liquid to slosh over the sides. Gwen peeked up at him to find that he was smiling at her slyly, as though he knew exactly the effect he had had on her. And damn it if he wasn’t right.
“Sorry,” she mumbled quickly before turning away from him.
“Wait,” he commanded, grabbing her wrist firmly and stopping her short. “Stay a while.” His eyes were dancing, triumphant in his small victory over her.
But she jerked her hand away, frightened of her reaction to him, that she had given him even a tiny glimpse through her falsely bright exterior to her vulnerable side.
“I have other customers to serve,” she said, trying for a terse tone.
She saw him frown as she turned away from him again, but she was too relieved to escape him to feel bad about it. But he stayed by the bar, watching her. She could feel his eyes on her, raking over her.
After a while, a pretty brunette sub plucked up the courage to approach him. Gwen watched them out of the corner of her eye. The girl was clearly desperate for him, leaning into him and thrusting out her chest. Damien shot one last look at Gwen before nodding at the submissive, and they left the bar together, the brunette following him out with a slavish look on her face.
Something that felt suspiciously like jealousy made Gwen’s gut twist.
No. I am not jealous. God, the man was messing with her head. She busied herself with serving customers, throwing herself into activity to drive him from her thoughts.
But as soon as the club closed and everyone left, he invaded her mind once more.
“Hey, Gwen,” her co-worker Gerald snapped her out of her reverie. “You think that the bar is clean enough?” He was smiling, his eyes gently mocking. Gwen jumped and then blushed, realizing that she had been wiping the same spot for a few minutes too long.
“Sorry,” she said. “I guess I’m just tired.”
“Or your mind is somewhere else,” Gerald said, seeing right through her. “What’s up, Gwen?”
“Nothing,” she replied, a bit too quickly. “I really am just tired.” No way was she going to admit that she couldn’t get Damien out of her mind. She busied herself with finishing up, desperate to get away from Dark Grove and get home. She could swear that she could still smell him, that his scent still lingered in the bar. Or was it just in her mind?
When they had finished work for the night, Gwen half-ran to her car, relieved to escape. Maybe she would come to her senses if she could just get away from Dark Grove. The place was a constant reminder of him, of their disconcerting encounter. She breathed a sigh of relief when she was in the safety of her car.But she could still swear that his scent lingered in the confined space, as though it clung to her, refusing to dissipate.