The Siren, Page 28Tiffany Reisz
Author: Tiffany Reisz
“Then how will we get out?”
Nora looked at him as if the thought had never occurred to her.
“I suppose we won’t. ”
“That girl worships you but she doesn’t know you’re a writer. How did she know you, Nora?”
“Down here everyone knows me. Oh, and to answer your earlier question,” she said as the elevator slowed. “Yes, you should be nervous. ”
He heard the muted grinding of the elevator coming to a shuddering stop. The doors opened. Nora turned her face to the dark outside the doors, and in a low voice said, “Let the wild rumpus begin. ”
Nora stepped forward and across the threshold. Zach called her name as she disappeared into the dark. Her hand reached back; Zach grasped it and let her pull him across blindly into the abyss. It took a few moments for his eyes to adjust. Zach stepped back when he realized he now stood teetering at the top of a steep staircase. But Nora stepped forward and went down, and he had no choice but to go down with her.
He felt the music before he even heard it. It beat into his chest, a pounding, visceral symphony of violence. Nora descended the staircase, and he had to trust her since he could barely make out his own feet below him. As they reached the middle of the staircase a deafening roar erupted as the throngs below recognized Nora. When they reached the bottom step a horde of near naked bodies congregated to throw themselves at Nora’s feet. She brushed past them, kicked some away, and swatted a few dismissively like flies with her riding crop. The more viciously she dealt with them, the more they groveled.
Looking around, Zach saw sights his eyes could process but his mind could not. Above him hung bodies hoisted high on suspension harnesses. A woman in leather dragged a man to a cross and lashed him to it. A line of people queued up to take turns flogging him. A naked woman was tied spread-eagle to a large spinning wheel. A huge bear of a man whipped her as the wheel turned and turned. Another woman strapped to an X-Bar volunteered her services to a man covered in head-to-toe vinyl except for the part of him in her mouth.
Into all this wet, red hell Nora strode without blinking, without flinching, without missing a step. She floated light and buoyant across the black waters, her eyes burning like flags afire. Zach imagined they could be seen for miles.
She pulled him through the herd of admirers toward an open wrought-iron elevator shaft at the other side of the floor. Guarding the elevator was a man roughly the size of a house wearing chaps and a spiked dog collar. Nora transferred her riding crop from her right hand to her left, and with her free right hand delivered a slap so fierce to the man’s face that Zach winced.
Zach moved forward ready to take the brunt of the man’s retaliation, but he merely smiled, bowed to Nora and stepped aside.
Nora stepped into the elevator and Zach followed.
“What the hell was that?” Zach demanded, referring to the slap.
“The password,” she called back.
No doors closed on the lift as it started to rise. Zach huddled near the back wall for safety, but Nora stood at the very edge and blew a kiss to the howling, cheering crowd below.
The elevator brought them three stories up to an old world bar. Tables of black lacquer sat everywhere and at the center of each pale yellow candles burned and dripped wax over the shiny surfaces. Behind the bar hung a huge mirror and every sort of alcohol one could conceive of. The din of the crowd was still audible but distinctly subdued. A portion of the bar opened like a balcony. Zach could see the chaos still raging below.
Nora brought him to a table near the center of the bar. She stood by her chair and waited. Seconds later a dark-eyed, well-muscled young man wearing low-slung leather pants came up behind Nora and pulled her chair out for her.
“Have a seat, mistress,” he said. “If it pleases you. ”
Nora laughed and turned in her chair to face him. He knelt at her feet and waited with a smile.
“Griffin Randolfe Fiske,” she said in delighted recognition. She put the tip of her riding crop under his chin and forced him to meet her eyes. “What the hell are you doing down there, you dirty Dom?”
“Just seeing how the other half grovels,” Griffin said, running his hand through his near-black hair. Even on the floor on his knees, it was obvious to Zach Nora’s friend was no submissive.
Zach guessed Nora’s friend was in his mid-twenties. Handsome and tan with armband tattoos around both biceps, Griffin appeared to be a close friend of Nora’s—very close.
“Who’d you piss off this time?” Nora flicked the little silver tag hanging off his collar.
“The usual. ”
Nora shook her head.
“You know Søren has the right to revoke your key, Griff,” she warned, casually twirling the riding crop in her nimble fingers.
“Yes, but you like me so he won’t. ”
Nora gave him a sidelong glare with a smile underneath.
“I don’t like you. I tolerate you. ”
“Yeah, you tolerated my brains out in Miami two months ago. ”
Nora scoffed. “I was feeling unusually tolerant that day. ”
“Weekend,” Griffin corrected. “Who’s blue eyes over here?”
Zach started as he realized Nora’s friend was now sizing him up.
“Master Griffin Fiske, meet my editor, Zachary Easton,” she introduced them.
“A pleasure to meet you. ” Zach reached forward to shake Griffin’s hand. But Griffin kissed the center of his palm instead. Zach yanked his hand back.
“He’s gorgeous, Nora. Hot accent, too. Fucked him yet?”
Nora shrugged. “Just a blow job. ”
Zach had the sudden urge to throttle Nora.
“Blow job on a British guy?” Griffin asked with some concern. “You’re a braver bitch than I. No offense,” Griffin said, turning to Zach. “I have a foreskin phobia. ”
“Zach’s Jewish. ”
Griffin nodded his approval. “Mazel tov. ”
“Griffin, are you going to get our drink order anytime soon or will I have to report you to a certain someone for dereliction of duty?”
“Drink order, mistress. Give it to me. ”
“Zach, do you want anything?”
Did he want anything? He wanted to get back in the Aston Martin right now and head straight for home. He’d thought he’d lived a wild life before he and Grace married—dozens of lovers, sex in cars, in parks, once with the maid of honor in the bathroom during a wedding reception, twice with the daughter of the dean of his college…loads of drinking, carousing, wild nights followed by tired but happy next mornings. But nothing he’d ever done compared to what was going on right in front of his eyes. A girl no more than twenty-five was being dragged by her hair past their table by a man about his age. He pushed her onto the elevator floor and put his foot on the back of her neck. Nora and Griffin barely even glanced in their direction.
“Anything that will put me into a coma,” Zach decided.
“No comas tonight. The Circle’s got a two-drink maximum,” Nora said.
“Griffin, explain,” Nora ordered.
“You see, blue eyes,” Griffin said, still kneeling on the floor. “This place doesn’t actually exist. No one knows it’s here. Not the cops, not the IRS, nobody but members, and the guy who runs this joint has so much blackmail shit on every member that we don’t breathe a word about this place to outsiders. So to avoid any unnecessary scrutiny, we play it very safe down here. No drugs, very little alcohol and safe words, safe words, safe words. ”
“So, two-drink maximum,” Nora finished. “Better make it a good two. ”
“Gin and tonic,” Zach said, picking the first hard drink that came to mind.
“Just mineral water,” Nora said.
“Oh…” Griffin said, his dark brown eyes turning gold with mirth. “Sounds like som
ebody wants to play tonight. ”
“Up. Go,” Nora ordered and Griffin jumped straight from the floor to his feet in kip-up—a move Zach had only seen in the occasional kung-fu movie.
“Such a punk,” Nora said, watching him walk away. “Thinks he’s a sex ninja. ”
“Friend of yours?” Zach asked.
“Kink buddy. But he talks too much so I have to gag him every time we fuck. Cute, isn’t he?”
“Delightful. He’s…” Zach didn’t complete the question.
“Bisexual. Very. ”
“Was it absolutely necessary to tell him that we—”
“I blew you. You liked it. Get over it,” she said as a naked woman wearing only a tail feather held in place in a way Zach didn’t want to think about sashayed past their table. Nora didn’t even bat an eyelash at her. “Ever heard of John Fiske?”
“Of course. Chairman of the stock exchange, isn’t he? He’s your friend’s—”
“Yup, that’s Junior,” she said, inclining her head in Griffin’s direction. “The Fiske family is new money, old money, money money. Griff is New York’s biggest trust fund baby. He drives Søren up the wall. Søren’s very dignified. Griffin…not so much. ”
“So who owns this club?”
“Kingsley Edge—he’s Søren’s best friend. Best friend when Søren isn’t trying to kill him that is. King runs the place but Søren’s top Dom here so he calls the shots when he’s in attendance. He can order anyone to do anything and they have to do it. Here all the Dominants are ranked by experience and level of dominance. Griffin’s lucky number seven. ”
“Who’s number two?”
Nora leaned back in her chair, snapped her fingers and pointed at herself.
“I am. ”
Zach’s eyes widened in shock.
“Zach, this isn’t a game, you know. I don’t just write it. I live it. I’m a Domme, a female Dominant. There aren’t a lot of us around. Most Dominants are men. Technically I’m Switch since I can top and bottom, but if I show up on your doorstep, get ready to say ouch. I’m not good at it—I’m amazing at it. So good at it that I’m as famous down here for my skills with a whip as I am in the straight world for my skills with a pen. ”
“My God,” Zach breathed.
“No need for that. You can just call me ‘ma’am. ’” Nora winked at him. Zach looked at her and knew she spoke the truth. He knew she was kinky but he never dreamed before now she was some sort of legend. No wonder she’d scared him from the moment they met—she really was dangerous.
“Your G&T. ” Griffin returned to the table with their drinks. “And your mineral water, mistress. Anything else?”
“Yes,” Nora said. “Kneel. ”
Griffin knelt again on the floor at Nora’s feet.
“Zachary, Griffin is demonstrating for us the attendant slave posture. Kneeling, hands resting on knees, thighs—” she said and put a foot on Griffin’s inner thigh and pushed “—wide-open. Very good, slave. ”
“Thank you, mistress. ”
“Slave, please recite for my guest the first rule of S&M here at the 8th Circle. ”
“Hurt, but do not harm, mistress. ”
“And the second rule. ”
“Respect the safe word always, mistress. ”
“And the third rule?”
Griffin looked at Zach before answering.
“No vanilla sex allowed…mistress. ”
Nora broke into a wide grin. “Good boy. You are dismissed for the moment. But stay close. ”
Griffin rose to his feet and leaned over.
“I’ll stay so close you’ll think I’m inside you,” he said in a stage whisper meant for Zach to hear and nipped at Nora’s neck. Zach tried to ignore it.