Title: Owned (A Decadence after Dark Novel)
Author: M. Never
Genre: Dark Erotic Romance
Release Date: October 3, 2014
Cover: Cover Me, Darling
"I like you collared, baby. I like you naked, I like you mine.”
Ellie Stevens has lusted over Kayne Roberts since he first walked into the import/export company she works for a little over a year ago. As Expo’s most important client, Ellie has always kept a safe distance from the man with the majestic blue eyes - until temptation finally gets the better of her. In a brass move, Ellie invites Kayne to one of Expo's infamous company parties her flamboyant boss is notorious for throwing. Unbeknownst to Ellie, the god in the Armani suit isn’t just the suave entrepreneur he portrays himself to be. Underneath the professional exterior is a man with a secret life, dark desires, and nefarious contacts.
In a hidden corner of a trendy New York City lounge, the spark kindling between the two of them ignites. Unable to resist the sinful attraction, Ellie agrees to leave with Kayne, believing she is finally bedding the man of her dreams. Little does she know when she walks out the door, she’s about to be Owned.
Owned is a dark erotic romance. Please pay close attention to the use of the words dark, erotic, and romance. It has intense sexual situations, a Master/slave relationship, mild abuse, and some violence. Reader discretion is advised.
I like you collared, baby. I like you naked. I like you mine.
I hurry out of the subway.
Of all days for me to be late. I choose this one.
My phone rings, and I know exactly who it is. My boss, Mark. My anal retentive, no nonsense, perfectionist boss who I adore.
He drives me nuts, but he is the most supportive man I have ever met, so I'm giving him a pass this morning. I know why he's wound tight. His biggest client is coming in for a meeting and everything needs to be just right. Which is part of the reason I'm late in the first place. I couldn't decide what to wear! Every time Kayne Roberts walks into the building my pulse races, my heart rate spikes, and my knees go weak. He's a walking god in an Armani suit. My mouth goes dry just thinking about him.
"Hello?" I answer as I turn the corner, picking up the pace.
"Where are you?" Mark snaps.
"I’ll be in the office on five minutes."
"Three minutes. Roberts will be here any second. The conference room needs to be prepped and coffee needs to be made."
I sigh. "I prepped last night, and the coffee is on a timer." Okay, so maybe I knew I was going to be late.
"You're magic glitter in high heels," he says then hangs up. Did I mention Mark is flaming gay? Makes him that much more fun to work for.
There's a pedestrian traffic jam right outside my building entrance. Of course. I push through the mass, making my way to the double doors I have in sight. I emerge from the throng, but not before my heel gets caught in a crack in the sidewalk, and I fly face first onto my hands and knees. Shit. Everyone saw that. I allow myself to feel humiliated for just a second, then proceed to pick myself up.
"Okay down there?" A thick, masculine voice vibrates through my limbs. I look up to find Kayne Roberts himself hold his hand out to help me. I’m stuck. Kneeling at his feet as my brain forgets how to command my body.
He frowns. "Ellie, are you hurt badly? Do you need me to carry you inside?"
Carry me? Yes please!
"No." I finally find my wits. "I’m okay."
Kayne plucks me up, and I’m caught staring into his beautiful crystal blue eyes. Well one beautiful crystal blue eye. His right has a large patch of brown that looks like a lightning bolt is striking his pupil.
It makes them more of a spectacle to stare at.
He smiles down at me, then drops his gaze a little lower smirking wickedly. I look down immediately to find the top button of my shirt popped open, and my cleavage fully exposed.
I want to crawl into a hole and die of embarrassment, mortification, and shame.
"Nice," Kayne quips.
I grab my shirt and yank it closed.
"Thank you." It's the only thing I can think to say and makes my embarrassment burn brighter, right on the apples of my cheeks. I right myself as Kayne opens the door for me, and we walk to the elevator together. Him haughty, me abashed.
As we ride to the tenth floor in silence, I pull my black pencil skirt up and check my knees. Kayne watches with entertained eyes as I expose more leg. I feel claustrophobic under his gaze. One of them is scraped and stings slightly. But I don't notice the pain. All I can think about is that old expression you should be careful what you wish for. Because ever since he strolled into this company, I have lusted after him. Wishing that just once he would notice me. Well today he did. And all I want to do is die.
Mark is waiting by the elevators when we arrive. I swear if he could stick his whole head up Kayne's ass instead of just his nose he would. I guess I can't blame him. Kayne is his number one client. Expo is an import/export company and Mark’s baby. He hired me straight out of high school and I have worked my way from novice secretary to irreplaceable personal assistant during that four year time. My family couldn't afford to send me to college, and I didn't want to rack up one hundred thousand dollars’ worth of debt by going to the top ten school of my dreams. So I decided to forgo college until I could save up enough to attend. Mark has been overly generous with my paychecks and bonuses ever since he found out I had half a brain. Coming from the poor family I did, I learned quickly I am the master of my own destiny. If I want something out of life, the only person who can afford it to me, is me. My upbringing wasn't all bad though. Contrary to the bottom line of their bank account, my family had a wealth of love to give.
Mark is wearing his power suit. A dark grey jacket and matching pants with a bright purple shirt and printed tie. Despite the way Mark dresses, he is brilliant, and I have learned an abundance since he took me under his wing.
"Kanye." He and Mark shake after we walk out of the elevator.
"Everything is set up. Ellie, please escort Mr. Roberts to the conference room. And tend to whatever he needs."
I suddenly flush. Whatever he needs? My mind races with erotic images. I'd tend to anything he needs.
"Yes, Mark," I answer dutifully.
Kayne gazes down at me with vigilant eyes. His glare heats my skin. It's as hot as the sun.
I walk Kayne to the conference room with him trailing slightly behind me, and if I didn't know any better, I'd swear he's stealing glimpses of my ass. It turns me on and makes me uncomfortable all at the same time. I guess that's what I get for wearing the tightest pencil skirt I own.
"Do you need to clean your knee?" Kayne asks.
"It will be fine. I'll tend to it after you’re settled."
Kayne relaxes himself in one of the large leather office chairs adjacent to where Mark usually sits.
"Coffee?" I ask.
"Yes, please." He smoothes his ties. "Milk-"
"No sugar," I finish his sentence.
"You remembered." He smiles brightly, and I almost dissolve.
"It's my job not to forget." Jesus is that even my voice? It sounds husky. Thick with desire. Can I be any more desperate?
"Rare quality. Attentiveness," he muses.
"I guess." I shrug back pedaling toward the door. "I'll be right back."
I flee the room, seriously needing to pull my shit together.
By the time I return with Kayne's coffee, tea for Mark, and the spread of baked goods he likes to put out, the meeting is already under way. I hand Kayne his coffee first. He winks at me, and our fingers brush during the exchange. The contact feels like an electrical current.
I shakily place Mark’s tea in front of him as he reads through the agenda, then set the silver platter of muffins, scones, and miniature cupcakes in the middle of the table. After that, I leave the room, stealing a glance at Kayne right before I exit.
I clean my knee, then spend the rest of the morning spying into the conference room swooning over the very desirable and even more unattainable Mr. Roberts.
"I see your boyfriend's back." Susie, one of Mark's logisticians bumps my hip.
"I don't know what you're talking about," I say with huge smile. Everyone in the office knows how bad I have it for Kayne.
"Yeah right." She laughs with her throaty voice. "You're standing there with your tongue unraveled."
"Am I that obvious?" I scrunch my face.
"You're like a white dot on a wall of red."
"Is the red because I heat up every time in see him?" I ask chewing my lip and twirling the end of my light brown hair compulsively.
"Not just you, honey. The building."
"I'm a desperate loser." I drop my face into my hands.
"Don't beat yourself up about it. That man is walking sex with a side of pheromones. No one blames you." She stirs her coffee with the thin orange plastic stick.
"He'll never notice me," I sigh as I eye him through the glass. He's engrossed in whatever Mark's talking about. I'm engrossed by his body, and his face, his hands, and his hair.
I finally look back at Susie. She's smiling, chewing on her coffee stirrer. "You want him to notice you? Give him something to look at. You'll never know if he's interested if you don't put yourself out there."
"He's Mark's most important client. I wouldn't want to mess anything up for him by mixing business with pleasure."
Susie shrugs. "A risk comes with every reward."
She throws her stirrer in the trash. "See if he's going to the party tonight. If not, invite him," she advises before she saunters away.
Ask him out?
I glance up to find the meeting coming to an end. Everyone is slowly but surely clearing out of the conference room. Except Kayne. He's still sitting, jotting notes.
"Ellie. Can you clean up in there? I'm heading to lunch," Mark calls.
"Yes, Mark." I once again dutifully respond, and Kayne looks up.
His stare makes my cheeks heat. Get a grip!
I head into the conference room, stealing my nerves.
"How was the meeting?" I ask Kayne sweetly as I begin to collect the information folders left behind.
"Excellent. Mark is a genius at logistics. He found an alternate flight route out of Mexico that will save a few hundred thousand over the next year. I'm pleased."
Kayne utilizes Expo to import limes and his own personal brand of tequila out of Mexico. He's making a fortune right now on that little green fruit. Because of weather conditions and poor crops the price per bushel of limes has quadrupled. Mark sees dollar signs every time we have margaritas after work.
"That's good." I smile. "No lunch for you?" I ask casually.
"I have another meeting in an hour. I'll be having lunch then. Mark said I could utilize the conference room to do some work to kill time."
"I see," I say as I pick up the last folder.
"What about you?" He tracks my movements with his majestic blue eyes. They remind me of a wild jungle cats.
"My lunch is sitting right in front of you. I'll be dining on miniature cupcakes."
"Healthy," he mocks.
"I know, but they're little. So...Iess calories?" I shrug playfully.
"I guess that's one way to spin it." He smiles, pulling the silver tray towards him. "Which flavor is your favorite?" Kayne looks up at me like I'm a confection sweet enough to eat. I swallow hard.
"It's a toss-up between the red velvet and lemon drop."
"Well I'm a red velvet man myself." He picks up the lone red velvet cupcake on the plate. "Would you mind sharing your lunch with me, Ellie?”
"Of course not. It's only polite to share." I fiddle with the collar of my dress shirt.
Kayne pulls the wrapper off the dyed cake, then splits it in two. "Sit."
I take a seat next to him, still clutching the file folders in my hands.
He offers me one half of the cupcake, and I take it with trembling fingers.
"Do I make you nervous, Ellie?" he asks as he lightly licks the cream cheese frosting.
"No." I try to play it cool. "Just too much coffee."
"I see." He stares at me intensely as he laps the top of the cupcake clean. I think I just came watching his tongue work the icing. "Aren't you going to eat?" he asks enticingly right before he stuffs the naked cupcake into his mouth. I just sit there frozen, trying not to squish the dessert still in my hand.
This man can write a handbook on seduction. Chapter one: Cupcakes.
Kayne looks at me expectantly. Without even thinking, I shove my half into my mouth. Not seductively at all. I'd be the first one to buy that handbook. Kayne smirks, his eyes alight. Then he brushes a crumb off my bottom lip. I nearly pass out.
"Did you decide what school you're going to attend in the fall?" he asks as he lounges back in his chair. I can't believe it. We had that conversation over three months ago, the last time he was here.
"I'm in the business of not forgetting." He skims his tie between his thumb and index finger. Lucky tie.
I can't stop the smile from spreading across my face.
"It's between the University of Miami, NC State or Hawaii."
"Inclined to warm weather."
I pout my lip. "I've never been away from the East coast. I wanted a change. I plan to visit Europe next summer."
His responses are so simple, so controlled, yet so inveigling it feels like I'm falling into a trance.
"I want more than a two bedroom apartment shared by four people," I divulge meekly.
"I admire your aspirations. Do you know what you’re going to study?"
"Thinking about starting your own import/export? I'd hire you." His gaze his heavy, probing almost. Is it suddenly hot in here?
"Well thank you for the vote of confidence. But I'm not sure what I want to do yet. I just know it's an open field. And it's something I've come to learn."
"Do what you know?"
"Something like that."
Kayne nods, glancing at his watch. "Crap, Ellie I have to go."
"I understand." We both stand up, our chests landing an inch apart. I stop breathing.
Kayne stares down at me with those mesmerizing eyes. "Thank you for sharing your lunch with me."
"Anytime," I breathe. Inhaling the scent of his expensive cologne. The smell is heady.
"Mmmm hmmm, Ellie?" He leans a little closer.
"Are you going to Mark's party tonight?" I ask a little lightheaded from his scent and his proximity.
A smile plays on his lips. "I was invited."
"And are you going?"
"Will you be there?" he counters.
"If I'll be spending the evening alone or not." I stare straight up at him, trying not to waver.
"Are you asking me out, Ellie?"
"Maybe." I bite my lip.
"Then maybe I'll be there."
Did he just accept?
With that, Kayne picks up his phone from the table and drops it into his pocket. I just watch him like a dumbstruck fool.
"Until tonight," he says, then steps away from me and starts for the door. "Oh, and Ellie." He stops next to me so we are shoulder to shoulder. "The next time you want to get my attention. Bend over. Your tits are nice, but I'm more of an ass man."
He then leaves.
With me nailed to the floor.
I should have said no.
I should've just blown Ellie off then apologized for it the next time I saw her. Blaming it on a business issue that needed my immediate attention. But I didn't. Because right now I'm standing at the bar in the middle of a trendy downtown restaurant waiting for Ellie the way a dog would wait for a bone.
I'll give it to Mark. He knows where to throw a party. You had to walk through a pawn shop to get into the place. The first floor is a lounge. The second is where dinner is served. The diners can look down over the railing at the patrons mingling on the white leather couches shrouded in florescent light. Like a legal peep show.
Only in fucking Manhattan.
I've already said hello to Mark and some other employees of his. I was introduced to some of his other clients as well. Very kissy kissy, shaky shaky business shit. It goes with the territory. Now I'm sucking down bourbon like a drain in a distillery, regretting that I'm here. I regret even more I told Ellie she has nice tits. Good going. Then, just to add fuel to the fire, I told her I was an ass man. If she only knew how true that was. It's exactly why I shouldn't be here. Ellie is too sweet. Too playful. I would never want to take those traits away from her. She reminds me of a frisky kitten tangled in a strand of yarn. She has no idea how tangled she'll be if she gets involved with me.
I slug some more bourbon. If she's not here by the time I finish this drink, I'm out. I suck down the last drops of alcohol in the glass and get ready to jet.
That's when I spot her. I stop dead in my tracks as she walks toward me. She's wearing a scrap of material I think she's trying to pass off as a dress. It's all skin tight, long sleeved and super short.
"Hi," she greets me with a bright smile. "Are you leaving?"
I jingle the keys in my hand. I should say yes. I should bolt out of this room and never look back. But instead I say, "I was beginning to think you stood me up."
"Never. I'm a woman. We're always fashionably late." She bats her eyelashes flirtatiously.
Not if you were my woman.
"Buy you a drink?" I ask as I greedily ingest every sexy inch of her in that skin tight dress.
"Yes please, a vodka and tonic with a lemon."
"Lemon?" I curl my lip.
"Yes." She giggles.
"Most people drink it with a lime."
Ellie shrugs. "I'm not most people."
You certainly are not.
I order our drinks just Mark appears from the masses. "There she is. My magic glitter in high heels." He holds out his arms like she’s a Broadway diva who just game the performance of her life.
He’s definitely a little trashed. It's only when Ellie turns to kiss Mark hello I notice the back of her dress; a huge oval cut out is exposing her bare skin. Holy shit. It's provocative as hell. I nearly choke.
"So glad you could make it Kayne." He shakes my hand and tells me again—for the third time. "Take care of my little Ellie here. She's leaving is soon, and I won't be able to find my ass without her."
"Aww," Ellie coos. "That is the sweetest thing you've ever said to me."
"Hold onto your knickers kid. If you’re even wearing any under that dress. It barely covers your bottom," he muses.
And I love it.
Mark pauses, looking between us with his bloodshot eyes. "What was I saying?"
"Goodbye," I chime in.
He lifts his glass to cheers us and goes on his merry way. I shake my head as he gets lost in the crowd. He is a character. Brilliant, but still a character.
"When do you start school?" I ask Ellie as the bartender serves us our drinks.
"September. I finally made my decision."
"And where are you going?"
"Hawaii. I mailed the deposit check on my way here." She’s practically glowing.
"Definitely the school I would have picked," I say excited for her, yet at the same time I suddenly feel sad. I shake the odd sentiment off. Maybe the bourbon is going to my head. I raise my glass, "To rainbows, surfing, and getting lei'd."
Ellie laughs freely. Clinking my glass. "To getting lei'd." Our eyes linger long after we take a sip of our drinks. I feel the heated stare radiate through the whole room.
"Do you want to sit?" I finally ask her.
"Sure." She bites on her little red straw enticingly. Don't look at me like that Ellie. I want to tell her. I want to warn her. It will only get you into trouble. Who am I kidding? Just by me being here, she's in trouble.
It's putting us both in trouble.
"I like your dress." I lean into her, glancing down at her barely covered ass. She smells sweet. Like cotton candy. "Did you wear it to get someone's attention?"
"Yours." She looks straight into my eyes.
"You've got it," I murmur in her ear. "Undividedly."
Aww, shit. If I'm going to hell I might as well have some fun getting there. Presently in the form of a playful little kitten named Ellie. I take her hand and lead her to the darkest, most hidden corner of the room. We sit on one of the white leather couches, and she snuggles into me as the catchy tune of Sing by Ed Sheeran resonates around us. It's the perfect match for the trendy atmosphere and flirtatious vibe.
Trouble. So much trouble.
Ellie and I talk about this and that. Nothing of utter importance. I forgot the last time I had a mundane conversation. She tells me how much she hates spiders because one crawled into her shirt when she was child and scared her half to death. I tell her how I hate cinnamon but can chew an entire pack of Big Red gum.
By our second drink my hand is on her knee. By the third it's on her thigh and we're both having trouble denying the inhibited attraction kindling between us.
"Kayne?" Ellie sighs as I stroke her with my thumb right under the hem of her scarcely there dress.
I lean into her, my face an inch away from hers. "Ellie. Do you really want this with me?" I give her one chance for an out. If she consents, I'm taking her back to my penthouse and fucking her till morning.
"Yes." Her voice doesn't waver. Then she spreads her legs a little wider and allows my hand to move further up her thigh, a whisper away from the sweet spot I have been fantasizing about for over a year.
"There's something you should know about me." I brush my lips against hers.
"What's that?" She returns the affection by sliding her tongue into my mouth. Little lioness.
I like to dominate. I want submission. I'll tie you up like a pretzel and have my way with you until you beg me to stop.
"Kayne?" She breathes my name, and I nearly combust.
"Amigo?" I'm interrupted by a thick Spanish accent that wasn't due in until tomorrow. I glare up at the man standing in front of us. Ellie shifts uncomfortably away from me. I could decapitate Javier. The homegrown Mexican scumbag—and my house guest for the next I don't know how long—has just ruined a defining moment. I stand menacingly and shake his hand.
"I wasn't expecting you until tomorrow," I say as politely as possible.
"I caught an early flight." He slaps my shoulder. "Too excited to see you."
Ellie watches our exchange. I can't tell if she notices anything is off or not.
"Ellie?" I hold out my hand for her to stand up. "Would you mind getting some water?" I pull out a fifty. She nods with a small smile, acknowledging both of us. She takes the money then slips silently away.
When Ellie is out of earshot I snap at Javier. "What the fuck are you doing showing your face here?"
"Your driver said you were out for the evening. Sounded like fun." He smiles at me with that goofy, wicked grin I want to wipe right off his face.
"I don't think it's wise to be seen in public together." I speak through clenched teeth.
Javier shrugs. "It's dark in here."
"The girl, is she one of yours?" He ogles in the direction of the bar, where Ellie is standing with her back to us, ass on display.
"Available then?" He raises his eyebrows.
"For what?" I sneer.
"Something to occupy my time with while I'm here. She looks like fun." His eyes sparkle with something sinister, something that spurs a disturbing memory to flash before me
It feels like someone just tied a noose around my neck.
"I have plenty of girls to keep your time occupied," I inform him directly.
"Yes, but I want that girl. In my room. Tied to my bed, tonight."
Why? So you can rape her repeatedly and beat her within an inch of her life? Like hell.
"I'm afraid that can't happen," I respond coolly, while my blood simmers in my veins.
"And why is that?"
I make a drastic decision.
"Because I've already claimed her. She's mine."
I just fucking hung myself.
*Note- unedited and subject to change.
© 2014 Author M. Never