The master, p.32
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       The Master, p.32

         Part #8 of Submissive series by Tara Sue Me

  Chapter One

  Meagan Bishop should have taken the paper cut as a sign. A sign with flashing red lights that read Open later. But instead, she shook her finger and tried to open the invitation without getting blood on the fine linen paper. And since she’d insisted on opening the envelope, she really only had herself to blame when the contents punched her in the gut.

  Guy Ferguson had been nominated for an Emmy, and he’d invited her to his celebratory dinner. Because, as he said in a note in his flawless script, I couldn’t have done it without you.

  She hated the Emmys.

  No, that wasn’t it. She hated that Guy Ferguson had been nominated for one. Guy Ferguson, the man she’d groomed years ago for a correspondent position doing human interest stories. She already worked for the news organization, and even though she secretly wanted the job, she instead helped Guy, an acquaintance she knew from college, in his quest. She remembered his smile and hug when he’d received the offer. And in the years that had followed, he’d always drop her a note when he climbed another rung on the corporate ladder.

  She told herself she was settled in her executive position for the same media corporation, but the truth was, she still yearned to be in front of the camera.

  Her phone rang, and she shoved the invitation into her desk drawer and answered without looking to see who it was. “Meagan Bishop.”

  “Ms. Bishop, this is Officer Smyth at the front desk. There’s a Mr. DeVaan here to see you.”

  Luke was here? To see her?

  She almost told the security guard that she was too busy and to send him away. But she was insanely curious as to why Luke would be stopping by.

  “Send him up,” she said. She pulled a compact out of her purse and checked her hair, smoothed the platinum blond strands and made sure there was nothing between her teeth. She reapplied lipstick and chided herself the entire time.

  She’d just popped a breath mint in her mouth when he knocked on her door.

  “Come in,” she said.

  He opened the door and stepped inside. As always, the sight of him made her heart beat a bit faster and her stomach flip. He, of course, didn’t look affected at all. Damn the man. He simply stood there smiling at her with his cocky grin and his gray eyes dancing with amusement.

  “Luke.” She waved toward an empty chair. “What brings you by today?”

  “Thanks for seeing me, Meagan.” He sat down. “I know you’re busy. I won’t take up too much of your time.”

  “I appreciate that.”

  “I’ve been asked to collaborate on a book of erotic artistic photographs. A coffee table book. It’s a promising project, but I’ve been rather busy with the clubs lately and I don’t have the contacts I used to.”

  Meagan knew Luke had a side business taking erotic pictures. It wasn’t shocking he’d be asked to do a book. The question was, why did he think she needed to know?

  “Sounds like an amazing opportunity,” she said.

  “I’m glad you think so. I’d like for you to be my model.”

  He spoke so matter of factly, so by-your-leave, that she wasn’t sure she heard correctly. “What?”

  “I’d like to showcase you. I want you to be the model in the pictures.” It didn’t make any more sense when he said it the second time.

  “Are you out of your mind?” she asked.

  “Not the last time I checked.”

  She leaned back in her chair and glared at him. “I think you have some nerve traipsing into my office and asking me to model for you. Correct me if I’m wrong, but we tried that once before, and it was you who said we shouldn’t do it again.”

  “That was over fifteen years ago, Meagan.”

  “Some things a girl doesn’t forget.”

  Like having his body hot and hard against hers. His smooth voice whispering sexy little nothings in her ear.

  And, days later, his insistence that not only could they not see each other anymore, but that it would be for the best if she found a new photographer.

  “I had no idea you could hold on so tightly to something that happened so long ago,” he said.

  “Forgive me if I’m trying to abide by the boundaries you set up.”

  “Fifteen years ago.”

  She stood up. Luke had consumed enough of her time today. “If you don’t have anything else, can I walk you out?”

  He stood, ready to leave, she was certain, but then he looked down and his lips curled into a smug smile. “Boundaries, huh? I haven’t seen that cover in years.”

  Those damn magazines Abby had brought. She’d forgotten they were on the corner of her desk. Of course he would see them. Of course he would. If she’d only spent her time cleaning her desk instead of touching up her lipstick.

  “Abby brought those by. Someone she knows found them and recognized me.”

  His finger traced the image of her face. “Is that right?”

  “Yes. Your name wasn’t even mentioned.” She added that just to show him how little she thought of him and his visit and his photography skills.

  He lifted his head, and the grin that had started out in the corner of his mouth spread to his entire face. “I think you’re protesting just a bit too much.”

  “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

  Still smiling, he moved to her side of the desk and stood much too close. “You see, sweetheart, when you have to constantly say something, it comes across as if you’re trying to convince yourself of the fact.”

  She rolled her eyes. “I forgot. Not only are you a photographer—you’re also a freaking mind reader. Tell me, is it your experience behind the camera or as a Dom that makes you think you know everything?”

  He chuckled and the sound was warm and inviting and seductive. “Now, you know I don’t claim to know everything. But I know this.” He stroked her cheekbone with the back of his hand. “I still make your blood race and your heart pound. You and I have unfinished business, and one of these days, we’re going to see it to completion.”

  Damn him for knowing her so well. She jerked away. “In one of your better dreams, maybe.”

  He ignored her barb. “I know because you make my blood race and my heart pound, and I’m not going to ignore it forever.”

  She breezed past him and opened the door. “I don’t expect you to ignore it forever. Ignoring it for the next fifty years will suit me just fine.”

  “Keep telling yourself that, sweetheart. No need to walk me out. I know the way.” He hesitated at the door and turned back. “We were great together once, Meagan, and frankly, I think we’d be even better now. If you change your mind . . .”

  “If I change my mind, I’ll have myself committed.”

  He tipped an imaginary hat and left.

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