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Bound to Please

By´╝ÜLilli Feisty

Acknowledgments

Kate Pearce and Robin Rotham, thank you for encouraging me when I was just starting out. Crystal Jordan and R.G. Alexander, you keep me going. Nicole, you’ve been with me since the start and I love you. Red Garnier, you inspire me in so many ways. Dana, thanks for the tough love. Gemma Halliday, you are an amazing CP (yeah, you’re one of mine now, sorry). You rock for ignoring your kid to critique my revised manuscript in three days. I also want to thank Gwen Hayes, Karen Erickson, Shelli Stevens and Lacy Dances for being damn good, understanding friends. Jax and every single member of Romance Divas, you all are my lifeline.

Eden Bradley, you’re the other half of my brain. I could never survive without you.

Without a doubt, I need to thank my amazing editor, Amy Pierpont, and the most wonderful agent in the world, Roberta Brown.

Bona, thank you for always inspiring the crazy best friend who inevitably starts out as a transvestite at the beginning of my books. Pam, thanks for wearing that vintage seventies dress and sharing lap dances with me.

Robin and all the other folks who frequented the Power Exchange in San Francisco, thank you for being part of some wonderfully naughty memories.

And thanks to the Babettes, the most insane, supportive book club ever. You know what you’ll be reading for our May 2009 selection. And Marty, Vanessa, and Robyn, thank you for being my adoptive family for over twenty-five years.

I also appreciate Jason Quever from the Papercuts and Pan American Recording Studio for answering all of my questions. Jason, you are not allowed to read past this page.

And J. You’re the best friend a girl could ever have. I love you.



Chapter

One

Have you ever been spanked?”

Ruby Scott choked on her chocolate martini. “P-pardon me?”

Meg, her best friend, business partner, and apparent perv, jerked a few nods. “You know. Spanked, flogged, whipped. Whatever.”

Ruby blinked. Sure, they’d talked about sex in their ten years of friendship, and it wasn’t like Meg didn’t know Ruby had a kinky side. But she’d never gone there. Until now.

Meg gave her a little push on the shoulder. “Come on! I really want to know about it. About S and M.”

Ruby glanced around the room, checking that the night was running smoothly. It was. She was, after all, known for being a highly organized and efficient event planner. Tonight was no different: Waitstaff scurried by, bartenders polished oversized martini glasses. Music blared from invisible speakers at the perfect volume. Guests hadn’t started to arrive yet, but Ruby could feel everything falling into place for tonight’s party.

Instead of enjoying the buzz around her, Ruby turned back to her friend and took a rather large swallow of her drink. “Um… first of all, don’t call it S and M. You can call it SM, BDSM, D/s—”

“Can we discuss the lingo later? I just want to know what it’s like. To get spanked.” Lowering her voice, Meg leaned in closer. “Or to spank someone else.” Meg’s cheeks were downright flushed with titillation.

“Why the sudden questions, anyway?”

Leaning back, Meg tucked a lock of ebony hair behind her ear. Looks-wise, they were polar opposites. Ruby’s hair was black, but naturally so. Meg had an olive-skinned, curvy shape while Ruby was pale, and her body was, for lack of a better word, skinny. And despite their shared interest in vintage, Ruby was the only one who actually wore retro dresses. Meg still shopped at the junior department; it was really quite handy that punk rock was back in style.

Now Ruby’s post-punk-rock friend’s brown eyes sparkled behind layers and layers of black makeup. Tonight her outfit consisted of a short black dress, black wrist-length gloves, and shiny patent pumps with buckles on top. Meg was not about to go gently into that goth night.

She crossed her legs, which were enclosed in spider-print tights. “I was just thinking of ways to spice things up a bit between me and Emmett. Do something different. You and Ash used to be,… you know. Into that stuff. Kinky stuff.” One of the bartenders had moved a bit closer and Meg whispered the last word, as if stuff was more acceptable than S and M. “I just thought you could give me a few pointers.”

“Do we have to talk about this now?” Ruby asked. “The band’s going to be here any minute. And”—Ruby waved a pointed finger—“I think I need to check on those hors d’oeuvres.” She slid off her barstool.

Meg wrapped her hand around Ruby’s shoulder in a death grip. “Just one tip?”

“Yeah. Stay away from artists and musicians.”

“Are you nervous to see him tonight?”

By “him” Meg meant her ex, Ash, who was supposed to show up to this little shindig, but, knowing him, if he came at all he’d be late. Ruby wanted as many hot names at this party as she could get, and the fact was, Ash Hunter was about the hottest name in the San Francisco art scene right now. Kinky sex was definitely en vogue, and the übercool were snapping up Ash’s shibari rope-bondage photographs as fast as he could produce them. Thank God Ruby had posed for him before he’d become famous, and he’d promised to keep those images private.

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