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Authors: Lexi Blake

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Sanctum

BOOK: Sanctum
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Sanctum

Lexi Blake

Some contracts are made to be broken...

A contract broken…

Ryan Church and Jill Paxon enjoyed their life as Master and submissive until the day Ryan's entire world crumbled. No longer able to fulfill his end of the contract, Ryan did what he thought was best for Jill. He let her go.

An unexpected reunion…

Eighteen months later, Ryan is working for Ian Taggart as the Dom in Residence at the elite BDSM club Sanctum when his former submissive walks through the door looking for a job. Jill has changed, but his desire for her is still insatiable. Jill, shattered by his past rejection, can't trust Ryan, but she needs the job. Back in the community where she once felt safe and secure, she longs for the life she lost and the man she loved.

A last chance for love…

Ryan is presented with an opportunity to restore his wealth and name, but it could cost him his last chance at rebuilding a life with the woman he loves. When the secrets Jill has carefully hidden from Ryan are exposed, a terrible twist of fate might take her out of his life forever.

eBooks are not transferable. They cannot be sold, shared or given away as it is an infringement of the copyright of this work.

SANCTUM

Shades of Naughty Collection

Copyright © 2013 LEXI BLAKE

Cover art by Amanda Kelsey

Edited by Trinity Scott

ISBN: 978-1-936387-56-4

All Romance eBooks, LLC Palm Harbor, Florida 34684 www.allromanceebooks.com

This is a work of fiction and any resemblance to persons, living or dead, or business establishments, events, or locales is coincidental.

All Rights Are Reserved. No part of this may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever with out written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.

First All Romance eBooks publication: May 2013

 

Chapter One

“Tell me something, Ryan.”

Ryan Church looked up from the documents he was reviewing and managed to avoid the long sigh that threatened. Ian Taggart stood in his office doorway, a frown on his face. The frown wasn’t a surprise. Ryan was pretty sure the big bastard never smiled. The fact that he was standing there, requesting a talk, was new. Ian Taggart almost never talked to him unless something had gone spectacularly wrong. “What do you need, Mr. Taggart?”

Cool blue eyes rolled and Ian stalked across the office like the predatory animal he was. Ryan had worked with sharks before, but none of those Wall Street assholes ever made him wary the way Taggart did. Those businessmen might be ruthless when it came to contracts and lawsuits, but Ryan was pretty sure Taggart had more than metaphorical blood on his hands. Yet, despite the man’s intimidation factor, he was one of the most honest men Ryan had ever met. And that damn straight meant something to him.

“You know you’ve been managing this club for almost a year now. I think you can call me Ian.”

Ryan set down the account books. “All right, Ian. How can I help you?”

“So polite.” Ian stuffed his massive body into the only available chair in the office. Ryan couldn’t help but think about the fact that at one time his office would had been five times this size, with a spectacular view of downtown Dallas, and his desk had been big enough to fuck on.

A vision of Jillian, her body spread across his desk and that sunshine smile on her face, assaulted him. He’d taken her right on top of his custom-built mahogany desk one sweet summer afternoon. He’d shoved his paperwork out of the way, ordered her to spread those long legs of hers, and feasted on her pussy right there in the middle of the day with his full staff working just outside the door.

He forced the thoughts away because they were the past, and now he had a view of the back alley and a boss with a determinedly sarcastic view of the world. He waited because Ian would talk when he wanted to talk.

“I need to make a few things clear to you. You see, I thought since you’ve been in the lifestyle for so many years, that you would know how protocol in a club works.”

Fuck
. What was this shit about? Ryan had been a Dom since he discovered the lifestyle at the tender age of nineteen. He and his frat buddies had visited a club to laugh at the freaks, and Ryan had only seen beauty and passion and a purity he’d looked for all his life. He’d quit the frat, found a mentor, and realized discipline was more than a word his parents used to rail at him. It was everything. He’d been a Dom for half his life, but he’d only been running a club since everything had fallen apart. “What have I gotten wrong, Mr. Tag…Ian?”

Ian’s lips twisted up in his impression of a smile. It was arrogant and had every female in Sanctum panting after the big man. “You’re the manager, but you’re also the Dom in Residence. You train the other Doms and help couples and run scenes with unattached submissives.”

He wasn’t telling Ryan anything he didn’t know. “And?”

“You can fuck the girls.” He brought his hands up and made a deeply junior-high gesture. “The penis goes into the vagina like this.”

It took everything Ryan had not to roll his eyes. The last thing he wanted was for his personal life to become club fodder. Of course, sex was on the menu at Sanctum every night. That didn’t mean he had to partake. He was on a diet. A starvation diet. “What if I don’t want to fuck the girls?”

“Okay. I went about this all wrong. I can see that now.” Ian leaned forward, a serious look on his face. “You can fuck the guys. The gay ones that is. I wouldn’t try fucking the straight ones. They get irritable. Now, I haven’t done this one, but I think it’s similar. The penis goes into the anus in this particular coupling.”

He flipped his boss the bird. “I’m not gay.”

Ian sat back, his expression softening as much as the man ever softened. “I wouldn’t care if you were. I don’t judge anyone on who they fuck as long as they’re happy about it. I’m just trying to say that if you were under the impression that you couldn’t form relationships here, you’re wrong. If you want to negotiate with the subs for sex, just get it in writing and it’s cool. If you’re dating someone on the payroll, it’s your call. I can’t exactly have a policy on that or I would have to fire half my staff and my best friend. My day business is just full of whack jobs who fuck clients or fall for people who we think might be linked to terrorists.”

Ian Taggart’s day business was security at the highest levels. McKay-Taggart Security worked for the richest corporations and, if rumors were true, the US government from time to time. Ryan had gotten to know the crew, as he liked to call them. Taggart’s crew came in on a regular basis to play. And yes, they apparently weren’t big on protocols when it came to the women they fell for.

Ryan had to smile at that one. “Yeah, Liam and Avery’s wedding was lovely.”

He’d facilitated the ceremony right here in Sanctum.

“Only because she turned out to not be a terrorist,” Ian pointed out. “I’m just saying. If my security guys can get away with fucking clients and potential traitors, you can ease up and get nasty with some subs. They talk about you a lot.”

Ryan was aware. He was a mystery to both his staff and the club’s submissives. How could he tell them that he couldn’t sleep with anyone because he was still in love with a woman who had been gone for almost two years? Who he’d given away?

He’d wondered how she was doing with Keith. Had she found a way to care for him? His stomach rolled at the thought of her sleeping with him. It hadn’t been in the deal he’d cut with his former friend. Only her care had been settled. Sex had been up to her. Sweet, deeply submissive Jillian. At least Keith had the money and time to care for her the way she needed to be taken care of. Keith had moved to New York a month after he’d taken over her contract. It was easier that way. He didn’t have to worry about running into them. She didn’t have to know how far he’d fallen. He liked to think of her in designer clothes, walking around Manhattan without a care in the world, following the orders of her loving Master.

What was he going to do when he got his shit together? He was almost there. He was almost ready to start over. He’d lived in a freaking hovel for almost two years, worked a couple of jobs for a while, traded in every favor he could. He almost had the money lined up, and then he would be back in business. But would it mean anything without Jillian there? Could he get everything finalized and maybe negotiate with her again?

“The staff can talk about me all they like. I don’t care. As to your other advice, I’ll think about it.” He couldn’t touch the subs. Not yet. He could spank them and get them off with any number of toys because that was what they needed from him. But what he needed was gone, and it had been his own damn fault. Besides, he didn’t have anything to offer a sub. He was a little better off than he’d been eighteen months ago, but all the reasons he’d had for giving away his sub still applied. He had no extra cash. He had money saved up but that was going into the new business, and the new business would take up all his time. No. He couldn’t take a sub and he couldn’t go after Jillian until his business was well established. By then she would very likely be married and happy. That part of his life was over, washed away in the mess his criminally minded CFO had left behind.

Ian sighed, his eyes narrowing. “All right then. I did what I had to do. Now, I’ve got the applications for the new bar manager. It looks like it’s a bunch of dudes and one chick who’s been in the lifestyle before. Adam ran all the background checks, and I set up the interviews since you’ve been putting it off. You can’t run both. It keeps you off the floor, and I need you there.”

“I’m getting to it.” Ryan knew he needed a bar manager, but he was swamped.

Ian placed a stack of folders on Ryan’s desk and slapped a hand there. “Three of them are coming in this afternoon. I want a new bar manager by tonight. We’re throwing Serena’s birthday party here in a few weeks. Serena. See, perfect example. That was Jake and Adam screwing a client. I told them not to. She’s a writer. She’s obnoxious, and now I have to love her because she’s a damn member of the family. So find me a bar manager. Just because Serena’s knocked up by one of those morons and can’t drink, doesn’t mean that the rest of us should suffer. Your first applicant is waiting outside.”

He looked down at the folders in front of him and a little flare of anger pulsed through his system. “Son of a bitch,” he whispered under his breath. How dare he just set up interviews? Sure he was the owner, but Ryan ran the fucking club and he did a good job at it.

Ian just stood and smiled. “See, now you feel like a member of the team. We’re not really in tune until we’re calling each other all sorts of names, brother. Hey, and she’s cute. And submissive, but not too much. You should hire her. If not for yourself, then for me, buddy. I like a challenge. Your call.”

Ryan reached for the folders as Ian opened the door. Goddamn it. He didn’t need a bunch of job applicants, especially ones Ian Taggart wanted to screw. But that seemed to be about every halfway decent looking sub who walked through Sanctum’s doors. The last thing he needed was for his bar manager to fall madly in love with the owner. His entire female staff, plus Joe, the bartender, spent half their time swooning over the big Dom.

Ian opened the door. “Hey, Jill. He’s ready for you.”

Ryan’s heart nearly froze. Definitely not for him. He couldn’t hire a Jill. Fuck, he had a hard time just saying the name. He needed to find a good reason to not hire her. He quickly flipped open the file, looking for an excuse to send her on her way, and then everything seemed to stop.

“Ryan? Oh, my God,” a soft voice said.

Jill didn’t just share his Jillian’s name. She was his Jillian.

Ryan just stared as his biggest mistake walked right through the door.

* * * *

Jill Paxon thought seriously about running the other way. She could make it back to the door and onto the streets of Dallas in mere seconds. She might not even take the time to get into her car. She would just run and keep running. It wasn’t like she hadn’t dropped everything for Ryan Church before.

She couldn’t stop staring at him. Eighteen months. And they hadn’t been terribly kind to him. He looked tired. Gorgeous, of course, but there was a heaviness to his eyes that hadn’t been there before.

Before he’d shoved her off on another man. Before he’d treated her like a piece of property. Of course she couldn’t blame him for that since she’d allowed the whole thing to happen.

She was a completely different woman now. And she needed a job. She squared her shoulders because she wasn’t going to run. She was going to face him down. “I apologize, Sir.”

She was in a BDSM club. He was definitely a Dom. There was a protocol to follow.

“It’s weird to hear you call me ‘Sir.’ I’m so used to ‘Master.’” He was staring up at her. She couldn’t tell if he was completely horrified or mildly amused.

“Well, you’re not my Master.” She didn’t have a Master now. Hell, she didn’t have a life now, much less time to play. “It’s nice to see you.” It was horrible to see him. She was going to be an emotional mess. “But I need to find the manager. Mr. Taggart said I should wait in here.”

BOOK: Sanctum
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