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The Lingerie Shop, Page 1

Joey W. Hill




  Berkley Heat titles by Joey W. Hill

  The Vampire Queen’s Servant

  The Mark of the Vampire Queen

  A Vampire’s Claim

  Beloved Vampire

  Vampire Mistress

  Vampire Trinity

  Vampire Instinct

  Bound by the Vampire Queen

  Taken by a Vampire

  Unrestrained

  Berkley Sensation titles by Joey W. Hill

  A Mermaid’s Kiss

  A Witch’s Beauty

  A Mermaid’s Ransom

  Something About Witches

  In the Company of Witches

  Anthologies

  Laced with Desire

  (with Jaci Burton, Jasmine Haynes, and Denise Rossetti)

  Unlaced

  (with Jaci Burton, Jasmine Haynes, and Denise Rossetti)

  Specials

  Honor Bound

  Controlled Response

  Naughty Bits

  Part I

  The Lingerie Shop

  Joey W. Hill

  INTERMIX BOOKS, NEW YORK

  INTERMIX BOOKS

  Published by the Penguin Group

  Penguin Group (USA) LLC

  375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, USA

  USA • Canada • UK • Ireland • Australia • New Zealand • India • South Africa • China

  penguin.com

  A Penguin Random House Company

  This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

  NAUGHTY BITS: THE LINGERIE SHOP

  An InterMix Book / published by arrangement with the author

  PUBLISHING HISTORY

  InterMix eBook edition / April 2014

  Copyright © 2014 by Joey W. Hill.

  Excerpt from Naughty Bits: The Training Session copyright © 2014 by Joey W. Hill.

  Excerpt from Unrestrained copyright © 2013 by Joey W. Hill.

  Penguin supports copyright. Copyright fuels creativity, encourages diverse voices, promotes free speech, and creates a vibrant culture. Thank you for buying an authorized edition of this book and for complying with copyright laws by not reproducing, scanning, or distributing any part of it in any form without permission. You are supporting writers and allowing Penguin to continue to publish books for every reader.

  Cover design by George Long.

  Flower background © april70/Shutterstock.

  Sexy woman © Maksim Shemlijov/Shutterstock.

  Lace Border © incomible/Shutterstock.

  All rights reserved.

  No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. Purchase only authorized editions.

  For information, address: The Berkley Publishing Group,

  a division of Penguin Group (USA) LLC,

  375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.

  eBook ISBN: 978-0-698-13596-3

  INTERMIX

  InterMix Books are published by The Berkley Publishing Group

  and New American Library, divisions of Penguin Group (USA) LLC,

  375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.

  INTERMIX® and the “IM” design are registered trademarks of Penguin Group (USA) LLC

  Version_1

  Contents

  Cover

  Title Page

  Also by Joey W. Hill

  Copyright

  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

  The Lingerie Shop

  Excerpt from The Training Session

  Excerpt from Unrestrained

  About the Author

  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

  My tremendous thanks to my three critique partners: Sheri Fogarty, Ann Jacobs and Angela Knight for going above and beyond to help me with this series. As many of my readers know, writing novellas is not easy for me. I love writing long, involved stories! Fortunately, my CPs have much more expertise with novellas, and they kept me from making a disaster out of this series. They not only helped me tear down and rebuild the first book to make it FAR better, but gave me invaluable advice and direction on the rest. I don’t know what I’d do without you three!

  I hope my readers enjoy the results, but any shortcomings that remain are the fault of this thickheaded author, not the exceptional talent of these very patient ladies. Thank you all for taking the journey with Logan and Madison.

  “I’ve got you. You’re all fucking mine.”

  He had his hand wrapped in her hair, holding so tight her scalp ached. He moved his mouth against her throat, against a vital artery pulsing with adrenaline. Pressed up against her back the way he was, he allowed her no personal space. His thigh was thrust between her legs, his cock a bar of steel branding itself on her buttock, even through his jeans. When she sucked in a breath, it was all him. Spiced aftershave, heated male. She wanted to turn, put her face right against his throat, nestle in that scent, in his strength.

  He controlled everything, and she felt safe. For the first time in her life. If only he wasn’t a dream. But in her mind was the only place where she could give him control.

  “You’re thinking again. You get punished when you think.”

  As he stepped back, she wanted to reach for him, but she couldn’t. He had her bound against a cool cinder-block wall. Embedded manacles held her wrists and ankles, and dozens of taut, thin lines crisscrossed her body from shoulders to feet. The bindings were threaded through two vertical columns of hooks, outlining her against the stone. When he released her, until normal, mundane movement restored her skin, she’d bear the impressions of those lines. And other marks as well.

  She yelped as the flogger hit her buttocks. The rough, braided strips bit into skin, left marks like a bird’s sharp toes.

  “Beg for punishment.”

  “Please . . . hurt me.”

  “No.”

  She moaned as he threaded his hand through the crisscrossed lines to push between the wall and her body. He caressed her navel, then dropped down to probe her clit, work it with a single firm fingertip, an excruciating and pleasurable tease. “It’s not about hurting you. It’s about you letting go. Ssshhh . . .”

  He soothed, even as he tormented. She struggled like a moth in a web, made tiny cries as he kept flicking and tweaking. The orgasm was as close as the prayer for mercy when he stepped back.

  “I don’t care what you think. Tell me how you feel. The first word that comes to mind.”

  The flogger struck and she jumped. “Afraid.”

  He did it again, and she gasped. “Wet.”

  He gave a dangerous chuckle. “Trying to get me to play with your pussy again, aren’t you? You’ll have to earn that.”

  Whap!

  “Hot . . .” “Alive . . .” “Need you” . . . “Aches . . .” “Stop . . .” “Don’t Stop . . .”

  “Free.” She said that one several times. Each stroke made the feeling more real. The flogger cut into her, but instead of cringing, she was arching, trying to lift her hips, spread her arms wider, a swan taking flight, fighting what held her to the ground. She licked her lips. “Master. Please.”

  He kept punishing her until she was a quivering mess, then he closed in on her again, took hold of her hair in that tight hold she loved. He bit her neck and she trembled more. “Say it.”

  “I’m yours, Master.” She believed it. There was no doubt. No fear. No thinking. She heard that delicious sound of him unbuckling his belt, unzipping his jeans, then she let out a sigh
of relief as his cock probed between her spread legs. He rubbed the head in her overflowing juices, getting himself slick before he started to push up inside her.

  He’d fuck her like this, while she was helpless against the wall. She’d come so hard her flesh would be scraped by the cinder block, because she’d writhe against it like a snake shedding a skin. He’d take her home, rub soft lotions into her flesh, make her sleep naked next to him so he could play with her body whenever, however, he wished, all night long. His long, strong fingers would stroke those whip marks, the scrapes, push inside her. Anything he wanted, she’d give him, because she trusted him with everything. At least in this moment.

  Dawn would come and dread would return. Along with a hundred other emotions wrapping her up like those crisscrossed lines, only these imprisoned her mind and denied her heart.

  Only by being his was she truly free.

  “Madison, are you ready to go? Earth to Madison?”

  * * *

  Alice’s voice, pulling her out of the fantasy. Or memory. The man and the dungeon wall were fantasy; Alice’s voice a memory, because Alice was dead. It was Madison’s subconscious, recalling her to the present.

  Madison blinked through the car windshield. She was parked in the alley behind Naughty Bits, looking at cobblestone pavement, a set of Dumpsters and an early morning sky, the clouds made smoky and gold-edged by the sun starting to come up somewhere beyond the row of buildings. Why’d she get out of bed this morning?

  Because it was time to get moving, do what needed to be done. After weeks of being closed to the public, Naughty Bits needed to be reopened, but she didn’t have to face that this morning. She was here to clean, evaluate inventory. Surely she could handle that.

  Taking her purse and coffee cup with her, she locked the car. As she moved toward the back door, she fished out the key. So focused on getting the door open, she didn’t understand why the lock turned easily but the door resisted, until she looked down.

  A UPS package was propped against the door. It was the size of a cinder block, and obviously weighed the same. As she lugged it inside, precariously balancing her coffee, Madison wondered what kind of item with that poundage would belong in a lingerie store, but then Naughty Bits was far more than a lingerie store. The BDSM section had plenty of things that belonged in a medieval dungeon. Maybe it was an engraved ball and chain. A special order gift for the Master who had everything.

  Hefting the box through the stockroom, she took it up front. It’d be easier to have it sitting behind the counter, ready for whomever had to be contacted to pick it up. She left it there as she went to unlock the front door. No, she wasn’t opening today, but she didn’t expect customers this early in the morning and she didn’t like the trapped feeling of a bolted door. Turning back toward the display counter, she saw the envelope.

  Everything else vanished.

  To MadGirl was written on the outside. It looked like it had been placed in its current location weeks ago, bearing a light layer of dust, same as the display counter glass beneath it.

  Leave it to Alice to think of doing something like this. Fishing out a letter opener from the drawer beneath the cash register, Madison slit the envelope. She ran tense fingers over her face, a reassuring hard stroke, then unfolded the pages.

  Sell doesn’t have to be a four-letter word. You used to know that.

  Madison blinked. Now, of all times, her sister would choose to be snide? Alice had great hook lines, though. She never started a letter with the traditional “Dear Madison.” Her handwritten script had flourishes like Thomas Jefferson’s. She’d done cursive that way since the eighth grade.

  I’m not being snide. Sell connects to two other really important four-letter words. Want. Need. But I think the word that best describes it is provide. Did you ever look that one up in the Encarta dictionary? The legal term means to require something in advance as a condition or as part of a contract. The non-legal term is to supply somebody with something, or be a source of something wanted or needed by somebody. Sets off something in your gut, doesn’t it?

  Madison swallowed. “Stop it, Alice,” she muttered.

  Fuck is another four-letter word, and it gets a bad rap. Cock, cunt, come . . . Do you think God and the Devil were playing a word game that day? “See how many naughty words can start with C, and whoever wins gets to handle everything connected to sex. Go!”

  You know the Devil won that one, hands down. God’s still pissed about it. Probably why He started the rumor sex was a sin.

  Madison choked on a laugh.

  Getting tired, so have to cut to the chase. Here’s the thing, MadGirl. Great selling isn’t about tricking someone into buying crap. It’s about helping them get something they truly need that adds value to their lives.

  “Oh, Alice.” The ache in her throat increased as her voice echoed in the waiting silence of the store. Waiting for a mistress who would never return, who’d known how to turn a lingerie store into an adult Disneyland, complete with the enchantment, promise of princes and happily-ever-afters. She’d told Alice that once, only then she’d had derision dripping off every word. Now she thought it simply as it was. Truth.

  I’m leaving you my store. You know that, but what you’re going to find out from my executor when you call him about this letter is that I set aside enough money for you to run the store for the next several years. If you don’t want to keep it after a year, sell the inventory and seek another path. But promise me you’ll give it a year. I’m betting you’ll find it easier to leave your life in Boston than you expect.

  How right she was about that would have been unsettling, except the subsequent paragraphs left Madison even more flummoxed.

  This next bit is the awkward part. My passion was getting people in touch with their sexual selves, but we’re sisters, so talking about sex beyond jokes and generalities has a certain Eww factor, right? Before you turn red as a tomato, think how bad this would be if I were your brother!

  Madison snorted, but then her fingers tightened on the page.

  I know you’re a sub, sis. I knew it even before I dragged you to that first BDSM club in Chicago. I made it sound like a silly adventure to get you there, but I thought it might help you come to terms with it, stop repressing it. You were so mesmerized; barely moving, clutching your drink, hypnotized by everything you saw.

  It came back in perfect clarity. Madison’s eyes had clung to the female submissives. The one who knelt at her Master’s feet. The one who’d been restrained, her cries of pain and pleasure drawn forth by the slap of the flogger, a male hand, the paddle. The one who passed within three feet of her, wearing a collar and leash her Master had wrapped around his hand, his other palm intimately low on her hip, guiding her.

  She’d stared and yearned for a language she understood but couldn’t speak herself.

  As a teenager, Madison had devoured the old bodice rippers on her mother’s bookshelves. The more contemporary romances left her detached and, in the dark corners of her mind, Madison knew why. When she masturbated, she’d see the pirate captain tying her to his bunk, the king using his strong hands to push open her thighs, a cop forcing her to her knees with an insistent tap of his baton and feeding his cock between her lips. She’d gush around her fingers, driven to climax by those imaginings.

  Sitting in the club booth, surrounded by all the sensory input of Dominance and submission, the mantra of “at last, at last” had pounded inside her heart. She’d wanted to be every woman there embracing submissive pleasures.

  What Alice hadn’t known was that Madison had agreed to go that night because she’d been nursing the hope that a garish, stark reality would drive the need away, a need that had become worse over the years with each failed relationship. No matter how hard she worked at each one, the man she tried to love still left. She always fell short.

  Choosing the wrong guy is different from being wrong about yourself, MadGirl. Stop trying to prove you could do something to make Dad love us more. I
loved her, but Mom was weak. She destroyed herself because she thought it was her fault Dad was an asshole who wanted younger women. Don’t be her. Stop trying to be what every guy, Master or not, wants you to be. Embrace who you are for you. Anything else is a pointless soul-suck.

  “Goddamn you,” Madison murmured. This was why she’d distanced herself from her sister during the last two years. Alice had been a hammer, relentlessly pounding on the idea that Madison kept making the wrong decisions when it came to relationships. But none of that mattered anymore, did it? A point underscored by the last paragraph.

  Dominance and submission isn’t one-size-fits-all. You have to make choices. Giving yourself to a Master is an incredibly special gift. I loved you more than anyone, MadGirl. Given how many cool, amazing people I met in my absurdly short life, that’s saying quite a lot. You always did underestimate what kind of gem you are. Maybe you’ll get a chance to shine here and see what I always saw in you.

  Be good, sweet sis. But not too good. Remember me by showing your “naughty bits” once in a while.

  Shit. Madison put the letter on the counter and slid down the wall behind it, giving in to the hard sobs.

  Madison had been up in Boston, selling stocks and bonds, managing people’s investments. Alice had called once a week and Madison always answered, but she’d stayed passive-aggressive, cordial, distant. As a result, she hadn’t caught the vital clues. Alice’s allergy attacks that came more frequently, the colds and flu bugs. Her sister had been getting weaker and sicker.

  Then, a couple months ago, Alice had called on a Thursday, not their usual day. In her matter-of-fact way, she’d said if Madison could come home that weekend, she’d really like to give her a quick last hug. She also wanted Madison to go through her collection of high-end, well-sterilized sex toys to see if she wanted any of them before they had to be boxed up and dumped. Incredibly enough, the Senior Citizens’ Auxiliary at the hospital wouldn’t accept them as donations for their thrift shop. You’d think they’d realize there’s nothing better for cardiovascular health than a good daily orgasm . . .