Natural Law, Page 1Joey W. Hill
An Ellora's Cave Publication, March 2004
Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc.
PO Box 787
Hudson, OH 44236-0787
ISBN MS Reader (LIT) ISBN # 1-84360-818-9
Other available formats (no ISBNs are assigned):
Adobe (PDF), Rocketbook (RB), Mobipocket (PRC) & HTML
NATURAL LAW (c) 2004 JOEY W. HILL
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. This book may not be reproduced in whole or in part without permission.
This book is a work of fiction and any resemblance to persons, living or dead, or places, events or locales is purely coincidental. They are productions of the authors' imagination and used fictitiously.
Edited by Sheri Ross Carucci.
Cover art by Regina Brytowski.
Joey W. Hill
"It's your first night flying solo. Stay in your comfort zone."
Violet heard Tyler's parting words clearly in her head, but no other part of her was listening as she watched the most beautiful man she'd ever seen make his way through The Zone's Tuesday night crowd.
She chose the adjective deliberately. Handsome or sexy conveyed surface appeal. Beautiful addressed the whole package, inside and out.
This man was big. Over six feet, the broadness in his shoulders was enough to accelerate her heart rate. He was pure male animal. No matter what soap, deodorant or cologne he used, he wouldn't be able to obliterate the scent. He was powerful, a predator, but what made him absolutely irresistible to her, overriding her common sense, was that he was a sexual submissive. An alpha wolf who chose the role of beta in the bedroom, but only for the right woman.
The more seasoned Doms hadn't seen him yet. Thank God that Marguerite, a Mistress who never had a regular partner, preferring to pick up her choice of sub for the night from the available subs on the floor, had already paired off and was playing in the rentable rooms visible through the club's glass floor. It was one of the perks of The Zone, being able to see down into all the playrooms, unless a darkening screen had been engaged by a particular group of occupants.
Violet preferred smooth, clean-shaven men. Usually. This man had coarse, dark hair on his forearms and soft curls on his head, in a style cut short at the nape. He was mid-forties gray, but his hair had refused to blend, so his mane of white, black and silver invited her touch. She wanted to grip it, tug that firm mouth down to her lips, or better, hold his head between her thighs and see how clever those lips could be.
Violet crossed her legs, took a sip of her drink. Though every instinct screamed at her to go stake out her territory before some other Dom saw him, she held her seat. Patience was often rewarded, and she'd rather suffer disappointment in anonymity if he was there to meet someone.
He had a straight blade of a nose, and a rugged face. His beard and moustache again upset her familiar preferences, but they were well-groomed, the beard off his cheek bones, low on his jaw, just a line of gray and black that followed that strong line to meet the clipped sideburn in front of his ear. She couldn't tell the color of his irises, but if they were gray, she was a goner. The dark length of his eyebrows were straight slashes, perfectly following the top shallow almond curve of his eyes, giving an impression of conscious strength, someone dangerous to push.
A lot of subs used the locker rooms to change into role playing clothing before taking the floor, a clear advertisement of their availability for play, but he wore street clothes, well-fitted jeans and a crisp white shirt tucked into them. The rolled up sleeves revealed those furred strong forearms and a pair of beautifully tooled silver cuffs on his wrists. The onyx inlay and scrollwork made them pass as an attractive accessory, but she knew what they were, had zoomed in on them like a hawk from a thousand feet in the sky locating a well-anticipated meal. They broadcast his status as a submissive here in The Zone, one of Tampa's most upscale and private fetish clubs for practitioners of the Dom/sub lifestyle.
Two hundred plus pounds of powerful male desiring to be at the beck and call of a Mistress. Or a Master. She forced herself to consider that, to squelch the scream of denial and disappointment in the possibility. To her, he seemed a little too rugged for the sleek beefed-up types the male Doms might prefer. Those muscles were put to some type of active use, versus being sculpted in a gym just for show.
Fuck it. She was going to go for it. She could imagine Tyler shaking his head at her, nursing her singed ego when her male fantasy set her back on her heels, but her pulse was pounding and her hands were damp. This was the one.
She rose from her seat and went hunting.
Mac Nighthorse intended to stake out a good place to do some observation of The Zone's evening crowd, but the scenario under his feet caught his attention. Through the glass floor, in a room appointed like a medieval torture chamber, a girl stripped down to nothing but a silver chain mesh chastity belt had been tied to a rack. Her Dom flogged her, snapping the end of a short braided whip across her stiffened nipples and leaving red marks on the inside of her thighs with pinpoint accuracy. The chastity belt prevented stimulation of the area it covered, but of course that meant that the build to orgasm had been slow and excruciating. Mac had lucked out on timing and got to see the Master's work rewarded.
The girl shuddered, her mouth open on a silent scream of pleasure under soundproof glass. Through the duration of her surrender, her Dom kept up the strike count. Her response, caught by the candlelight illumination of the chamber, glistened down her thighs through the silver chain leg openings of the chastity belt. Moving to her side, her Master released her arms and let her hold him at last, stroking her hair, his face lit with pleasure and devotion.
That expression absorbed Mac, held him there a few moments more than he anticipated. When at last he turned toward his original destination, a quiet corner in the shadows, he found his way unexpectedly and deliberately blocked.
The obstacle had spike-heeled boots that followed her legs like a second skin, so they were as feminine and delicate as the dress she wore. Whereas most Doms preferred black and leather for the strong message they conveyed, this woman had chosen a dress of hunter green velvet. The decolletage was an elegant, low-slung drape that revealed the tops of her breasts and the lace along the edges of the dark green satin bra cups sewn into the dress. The skirt hugged round hips and flared out in a little garnish of slashes just below mid-thigh, giving him a glimpse of the lace tops of her silken thigh highs beneath the boots.
He had to stop at her face much sooner than he anticipated. She was a woodland fairy, a pixie. With the heels, the top of her head reached his shoulder. She wore a simple silver cross around her neck, and a pair of earrings that were a fall of silver stars. Silver glitter sparkled on her skin over her breasts and sternum.
The raven black hair falling to her waist was not hers, but a beautiful wig that did great things for her small oval face, her skin looking like cream in his coffee in the morning, liquid and smooth. He'd bet those lavender eyes were contacts, but her beauty couldn't be disguised. Whatever her hair and eye color, she was a knockout. Her lips were liquid red and full, just like he liked them.
The smell of lavender clung to her, with an underpinning of vanilla, and his nose was interested in having him take a tasty bite, even if the rest of his body was being sternly admonished by his mind to stay in check.
She was so delicate, it was hard to believe she was a Dom. But it resonated off her. A less experienced sub wouldn't know, but he did, from the direct way she met his eyes, assessing him in a manner so potent he found himself fighting the urge to please her by casting his gaze down.
"I have a room below," she said, and it wasn't a request. "I want you down there." She pointed throu
gh the glass and he saw the room provisioned like a horse stall, complete with cross ties, bridle bit gags and other equine accoutrements modified for human sexual play.
"I'm nobody's pony, sweetheart," he said, and made to move past her.
"I'm not looking for a pony," she returned. "And I don't recall giving you a choice about it, slave."
She was green. It was obvious from the shift of her eyes, the pulse pounding high in her throat. He could smell her nerves. He bared his teeth in a smile.
"Make me, sugar."
"What does that mean?" Confusion and irritation crossed her features.
"It means I don't go down easy." He flicked an impudent finger under her chin and delighted in watching her eyes narrow in anger. Oh, yeah, she had it in her. His cock stirred, like a dog catching the scent of something interesting crossing his yard. "You've got to prove you can tame me.
"Go practice on Billy over there," he gestured to a table where a young man with an open face sat, bare-chested and in tight pants. "He's friendly and eager to please."
"I don't want a cocker spaniel." The pixie reached up, caught her long-nailed fingers in the open collar of his shirt, dug into his flesh. She jerked, bringing him down a few inches, not because he wasn't strong enough to pull back, but because she made it clear she'd take a piece of him with the fabric if he didn't.
At the same moment, he felt the hard length of the riding crop she carried thrust home between the crease of his thigh and the heavy weight of his testicles. She exerted a pressure that was uncomfortable, not painful, but the motion definitely caught his attention.
The violet eyes and black wig hid her true looks, but not the satisfied set of that sinful mouth. The tip of her tongue came out, wet her lips.
"I want the pit bull, the one who runs his yard." Her crop hand slid down to grasp him firmly by the balls, still keeping the prop in the equation so he felt the insistent shove of the weapon as well as the curled clutch of her fingers against his hardening cock. "Get your ass downstairs into that room. And I want this shirt off."
Her eyes were inches from his. The music and crowd noise faded away and lavender took over his senses. A vibration rippled his nerves, sending a shudder through his body before he could prevent it. She felt it under her touch, he could tell from the surprised triumph in her expression. Her grip eased, her fingertips brushing a light caress over his nipple.
Mac reached up, closed his hand around a wrist as slender and delicate against his strength as blown glass, and he was the one that was shaking.
She could push his limits, despite her inexperience. But that wasn't why he was here.
"You honor me with your attention," he said quietly, meeting her gaze and then lowering his own, following etiquette to convey his respect that she'd won the point. "But I can't attend you tonight, much as I'm already regretting it."
He shifted his grip to her hand, lifted it to his lips, still not raising his lids, not daring to do so. Damn, how had the little minx gotten under his guard? He usually preferred a much more physically intimidating Dom.
Of course, his preferences didn't always dictate his choices. Tonight, despite his best intentions, they were trying to do so.
With the right amount of time, she was one of those who would be a true Mistress, able to break a man down physically and emotionally under her will. He'd already surmised that she chose a sub for more than just the packaging and what that packaging could do for her. Mac wasn't looking for a Mistress that dug that deep. It said something though, that he'd caught her eye. He guessed her to be in her late twenties, early thirties, very early, but her level glance was an unsettling match for his own maturity.
He brushed his lips over that soft skin, felt the glossy surface of her nails press into his palm, and he didn't want to let go. But he did.
"A good evening to you, Mistress," he murmured. He stepped backward several steps, again observing etiquette, and did not turn his back on her until he was at a respectful distance.
Good Christ, what was that? Violet felt like she'd been hit in the solar plexus with a head butt. Fire slithered over and around her arm, radiating from where his lips had pressed to her knuckles, that moustache tickling her skin. Her fingertips, which had given him that intimate caress inside his shirt, along a nipple that had hardened instantly beneath her touch, were vibrating with need.
She had witnessed interactions between high-powered subs like this one and absolute Masters like Tyler. She had felt weak-kneed watching them, aching for a taste of that supreme Nirvana, a one-on-one interaction where the will of Master and desire of sub melded into an explosive energy of its own, a magical synergy captivating them as well as those watching them.
That power had rolled between her and this sub. She'd seen it in the shift of his eyes, the shudder of that magnificent body. Well, perhaps she'd leave him alone for a few minutes. Or maybe she'd find someone to demonstrate to him just what he was missing.
Mac sat down at the sanctuary of the shadowed corner table. Unfortunately, it placed him directly over the room she had indicated. In a moment, he'd move, but he wanted a moment to regroup and refocus before he made an ass of himself.
"Lord Almighty," he muttered. His eyes couldn't help searching out his pixie in the crowd, and now he got an eyeful of the back of her dress, what there was of it. The lack of fabric showed off the curve of her shoulder blades, a mole just on the inside of one that he'd like to kiss, working his way up to a neck so slender one of his hands could circle it.
Two thin straps of green crisscrossed just below the shoulder blades, and then there was the unimpeded bare slope of skin, all the way down to the dimples above her ass before the low waistband deprived him of a view of more. She was wearing a silver waist chain, and there was a tiny tattoo just above the left side of her hip. From here, squinting, he'd guess it was a tiny lavender flower.
She paused, bent to adjust the fit of one boot. She was in the shadows, but because of his position and the dim light of the wall sconce, he alone got a clear view as that skirt inched up and up, stopping just shy of where he'd be able to see the crotch of whatever panties she wore, if any.
Oh, that's good, Nighthorse. Really torture yourself.
She straightened, and then looked over her shoulder at him, her eyes sending a "fuck you" challenge that he felt straight to his testicles. He'd bet he could eat that little pussy until she screamed and spoke in tongues. It wasn't a far leap to imagine her crooking her finger at him, pushing his head down there to smell lavender and woman, the musk of a wet, soft cunt with a flavor of vanilla.
"You keep staring at her like that, hon, we're going to have to get the firehose before the building goes up in flames."
Mac started and focused on the amused face of the waitress now standing at his table, her hip cocked. The discreet gold name tag pinned on her red corset read "Mariah".
"Is she a regular?"
Mariah's lips lifted in a smile. "Something, isn't she? Violet's been mentoring with one of our stronger Doms here for about six months, and she came with friends as a voyeur for awhile before that. She knows about everyone in the place now. I won't swear to it, but I think tonight's her first time on her own. You're a bit out of her league, hon, but I suspect not for long. You go easy on her if you're interested, hear? We protect our regulars."
It was a direct warning and one Mac appreciated. He was the newcomer in The Zone tonight, a welcome but unknown quantity, and she'd just informed him that looks wouldn't get him anything but a boot up the ass if he got out of line. She'd delivered it with smooth, inoffensive professionalism and a sexy smile that didn't dilute the message a bit. He didn't mind, because the message meant he'd be looked after too, if he needed it. The Zone had trained their staff well.
In a Dom/sub fetish club, that attitude from management was worth the price of admission, and the intense screening process. The Zone had a hefty membership fee to go with the in-depth background checks.
They went to great lengths to protect the identities and wellbeing of the upper middle class and wealthy clientele which could afford and demanded their extra care.
"You got it."
She nodded, gave his wrist a brief caress before she straightened, went to get his drink. Her latex pants, laced up the back, couldn't help but draw his eyes to her great ass and the accessibility of it. He wasn't surprised by the outfit, because clubs often had wait staff employees equally willing to earn money on the side by being someone's rented sub or Dom for the night, where there were no emotional strings that the dating pool hazarded.
Yes, The Zone went the extra mile and then some to anticipate the needs of patrons and protect their privacy. It was a dangerous, ballsy venue for a murderer to cruise for victims, but one had. Not just once, but twice. The person he was looking for was smart, arrogant, and had money. And she was a woman. His gut told him that, even if the evidence collected thus far didn't yet support it.
His gut also told him that she liked the pickings on these grounds and would keep coming back. Particularly if she believed no one had made the connection, that the obsessively discreet nature of The Zone's yuppie clientele had obliterated her tracks.
But one homicide detective had made the connection. Mac just wished he had figured it out when he'd stood over the first body, instead of the second. But then, he hadn't known the first victim personally.
The thought brought back the intensely uncomfortable memory of the meeting he had arranged with his sergeant earlier in the week, the meeting that had led to his presence here tonight, and the much more pleasant chance encounter with a woodland fairy with violet eyes.
"I've got a meeting with the captain at ten, Mac." Sergeant Darla Rowe took a seat behind her desk and lifted a brow as one of her top people closed her door before taking a seat before her. She straightened, put her hands on her desk, one folded over the other. "What's on your mind, Detective?"