Authors: Nathan Stratton
Serving Mr. Stevens:
An Erotic Romance
By NATHAN STRATTON
The Price of Pleasure
Copyright 2013 Nathan Stratton. All rights reserved.
Reproduction of this work prohibited unless the author grants permission.
Approx. word count: 13,100
NOTE: This is part 4
of a five-part erotic romance.
It is not essential to read Parts 1-3 in advance of this book, if you are just looking for a quick, sexy romantic read. However, Parts 1-3 contain much of the back-story for the book’s plot, and provide the backdrop for the relationship between Candace and Mr. Stevens.
Part One: The Contract
on Amazon.com here:
Part Two: Lover’s Complaint
on Amazon.com here:
Part Three: Masquerade
on Amazon.com here:
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Contact Nathan at [email protected]
Look for the FINAL
Serving Mr. Stevens
“Part 5: Unfinished Business,” in July 2013!
Katarina came running up to me from across the crowded room.
“There you are,” she cried, a frantic look in her eyes. Her mask was
loose around her
face, in danger of falling off completely, but it didn’t seem as though she cared. She looked a mess. I could see a dark smudge of mascara streaking down her cheek.
“I’ve been searching all over for you. We need to get out of here, and fast.” Motioning towards the back exit, she took off towards it without another word.
“What? Why?” I shouted over the music as I hurried to keep up with her quickened pace. “What happened?”
She whirled around but didn’t answer, staring at me blankly as I spoke. She had a deer-in-the-headlights expression that was in utter contrast to her normally confident smile. I didn’t like the looks of this. I grabbed her wrist, trying to snap her back to reality.
“Katarina,” I said sharply. “Tell me what’s going on.”
It seemed to do the trick. Coming out of her daze for a moment, she looked at me with terrified intensity.
“Peter Kearns is dead.”
I stopped dead in my tracks. My hand was still on Katarina’s wrist, now with a death grip that made her wince. “You’re hurting me,” she said weakly. At her words, I looked down at my hand; I’d forgotten I was grabbing her. I pulled my hand away in surprise.
“What happened?” I asked her. There were a thousand thoughts hurtling through my mind, but this question surged to the forefront. It was the only thing I could articulate just now. She shook her head quickly, an answer that doubled as a warning. The pain of my firm grip had jarred her back to earth.
“We have to go. Now, Candace.”
The intensity of her tone was what it took to get me moving again. She headed toward the back exit, almost staggering toward it in her half-dazed condition, as if she were waking up from a bad dream. All the grace with which she normally carried herself was gone. I could sense others watching us, wondering what all the commotion was about. I was right on her heels, staring straight at the back of her head so I didn’t lose her in the crowd. But Katarina didn’t bother to look around – she seemed not to notice anything around us. She was simply hell-bent on getting out of there.
She hit the back exit door with both hands. It opened into a dark open stairwell, completely deserted. After the crowds and throbbing bass of the dancehall, the silence out here felt eerie in contrast. I was right behind her, questions tumbling out as fast as they hit my brain.
“What happened to him? Are you sure he’s dead? Who told you?”
She paused, gripping the handrail as if for balance. “He was murdered,” she said numbly, trailing off as she spoke the words.
I cried. “Are you sure? How could you know that?”
She seemed in danger of losing her train of thought again, and I grabbed her arm.
Stay with me,
I urged her silently.
But she wasn’t listening. “I tried to call Mr. Stevens. He didn’t pick up. I don’t know where he is.” She turned to look at me, tears welling in her eyes.
I thought back to the moment he had kissed me, before he left the mirrored room. “He was with me,” I said.
Or was he?
I realized I still didn’t know for sure if the man who’d had his way with me in mirrored room was Mr. Stevens, or someone else. I shook the thought away – it
to be him. I felt it with every fiber of my being. “But…”
Katarina looked at me with frightened eyes. “I called Carl to come get us,” she said. “He’s coming with the car. We have to get down to the ground floor.” So there was a plan, at least. It was a relief to hear those words. She pulled free of my grasp, already headed down the stairwell, her heels clicking hard on each step.
I realized I was still wearing the masquerade mask from the party. I yanked it off and tucked it under my arm. I needed to be able to see clearly to get down the stairwell in the dim lighting, and for some reason removing the mask seemed to help me think straight. I knew that Mr. Stevens was still up there, somewhere, and God knows what was happening to him.
But I had to put that aside for now, and focus on getting the two of us to safety. If Katarina knew Mr. Kearns was dead, then so did many others. It was only a matter of time before the word spread, and surely
at the party would mention the two women who’d run out of the room like they’d had wolves on their heels.
I watched Katarina hurrying down the stairs below me, balancing precariously on the heels of her stilettos. I knew she was running on pure adrenaline. This wasn’t good; I needed her clear-headed. I stopped her again on the landing.