Bottoms Up by Amanda Usen (writing as Miranda Baker)
Come Again Book One
Publication Date: 11/29/2016
Publisher: Balancing Act Press
Love is the hardest limit.
Being on top comes naturally to Destiny Blake, but when the sexy, hard-bodied owner of her favorite BDSM club throws down the sexual gauntlet and suggests she submit to him for one night, she can’t resist his erotic challenge.
Johnny Delcorral has good reason for needing his women submissive. So why can’t he keep his eyes off the fierce leather-clad Domme? Tangling with Destiny is a dangerous proposition, but he hungers for the chance to curb her defiant streak.
The battle is on, and both are enjoying the sensual power struggle. Until one night he pushes too far—and comes hard up against a boundary he never expected to find.
Johnny gestured with the glass. “Have a seat.” His black eyes flashed again. There was humor there, but steel underneath, and he watched her as if he knew what following an order cost her and he was enjoying her struggle.
Destiny slid onto the barstool because she wanted to, not because he had demanded it. She was determined to take the upper hand. “So, do you know anything about astrology?” she asked.
“Not a thing, but I know people—women, especially. You don’t want to be on top tonight.”
“No?” Her eyes slid back to the blond.
“Looking for love…” Johnny hummed the rest of the line under his breath, but she heard it in her head anyway—and she didn’t care for what he was implying.
“I’m not looking for love,” she scoffed.
“Of course not. But he’ll disappoint you anyway.” Johnny slid another glass into the rack.
“How do you know?”
“If you’re here talking to me, then you’d be wasting your time with that pretty boy. I’m done at one. Let me take you Upstairs.”
“There’s an upstairs?”
“This is the main part of the club, but yes, there’s another level.”
“Can I go check it out?”
He shook his head. “You need an escort on your first night. It’s my world up there. I say who gets in, who stays. I make the rules and everyone who enjoys playing by them has a good time.”
Destiny pictured a rabbit warren of dark rooms with slave girls chained to every wall and Johnny making his way from room to room, whip in one hand, dick in the other. “So what does that make you, the über-Dom?”
He chuckled, the sly sound ruffling her nerves. “I don’t often play.” His dark gaze flitted over her again, licking her skin, lighting fires. “I draw a crowd when I do, though. You like crowds, Destiny? Do you like to be watched?”
She sat up straighter on her stool, wondering what kind of a crowd was gathered Upstairs tonight. Who else had Johnny invited into his inner sanctum? Curiosity added its weight to her inner struggle. Johnny poured a shot of Patrón and set it in front of her. “You know my drink?” she asked, surprised.
He shrugged. “I pay attention. Not just to drinks, though. I notice all kinds of things about people—like your mood tonight.” He cocked his head and raised his eyebrow again. “Do you want to play with me? Because I think you do.”
His arrogance should have been irritating, but she couldn’t take offense at the truth. She did want him—just not the way he thought.
Thinking about that, Destiny knocked back the shot and licked her lips. “I don’t know anything about you.”
“Don’t let that stop you.” He set the glass and the towel on the bar and faced her squarely. “You didn’t answer my question. Do you like to be watched?”
Curiosity overtook caution and she found herself answering him. “Yes, I’m an exhibitionist. But I’ve never bottomed, and I don’t think I’d want an audience the first time.”
“Agreed. Hard limits?” He moved swiftly to negotiation. Her limits, his desires, their needs—a verbal contract between two interested parties that would bind their play in the rules of the BDSM world.
Destiny sipped the beer chaser Johnny provided. He didn’t rush her, which was good, because frankly, she’d never seriously considered putting herself on the other side of the power dynamic. Bottoms held the power, truly, but it wasn’t supposed to feel like it. Part of the play was feeling powerless, and her Dominant nature utterly rejected that concept. She wasn’t sure how much submission she could handle. Where should she draw the lines? What boundaries would permit her to let him take control?
She watched him run the bar towel over each glass as he waited for her to answer. The thought of putting herself under those rough hands made her tingle. Her nipples peaked. Sexual energy thrilled through her tight muscles. For one night, she could handle just about anything, she decided.
Destiny looked up from his strong hands to see that he was watching her, not the glass, as he worked.
“No blood,” she finally answered. “No blindfolds. Always wear a condom. No other women. And not tonight.”
“Do you have any questions for me? Anything you need?”
She nodded again swiftly. There was one thing she wanted to know, but it didn’t have anything to do with her needs. She watched him closely. “Why do you like to Dominate?”
Johnny frowned. He dropped the towel again and placed his hands flat on the bar. His shoulders formed a tight bridge as he loomed over her. “You’ll agree to submit to me with ridiculously few limitations so long as I tell you why I’m going to enjoy the experience?” His voice was incredulous.
Uncertainty crept up on her. It wouldn’t be the first time her impulsiveness had gotten her into trouble. Johnny was a big man in more ways than height and breadth, she was sure. She thought of those hands, blunt-fingered and ringed, positioning her, his tattooed arms encircling her body as he pushed into her from behind. Blood rushed south, north, engorging her vulva and breasts, sending a flush up her chest. She ignored her arousal and focused on him. “I’m not afraid of you. Do you want me to be?”
“A very proper question from my new submissive.”
Destiny rolled her eyes, making Johnny grin. Humor flashed merrily in his dark gaze. She hoped he wasn’t the kind of Dom who wanted her to look down all the time. She enjoyed seeing his eyes glow like that.
His smile faded. “As for an answer, no, I’m not into fear. Pain, yes; fear, no. I won’t expect you to cringe, but you will show me respect.” His voice was quiet, calm and diamond-hard.
“Earn it.” Destiny clenched every muscle she could control to keep her shiver from showing.
“Ah, Destiny, there is absolutely no doubt of that.”
He reached across the bar to stroke his index finger over her lower lip. His touch made her breath stop in her throat. Her mouth fell open and her tongue darted to taste the pad of his finger. Lime from the gin and tonic he had just mixed made her mouth water. The urge to lower herself was shocking.
“Good girl. Good, good girl,” he whispered. “You are going to please me very much.”
Sweet Jesus, she wanted to. Fear spiked in her center.
Where was the woman who loved power, the leader, the one creating the scene? Panic made her pull her head back from him and close her lips, but he caught her by the jaw, fingers gently clamped around her chin, his little finger feathering the pulse in her throat. “Uh-uh, no way, little lamb. There is no strength in denial. Choose this. Don’t let your brain talk you out of what you need.”
Her thoughts pinwheeled. She cleared her throat and swallowed, a difficult feat with his hand on her throat. “Not lamb—ram. The symbol for Aries is the ram.”
“Since you asked so nicely, I’d be happy to.” His slight, mocking smile returned and his hand dropped away from her face, chilling her.
Destiny was torn. Half of her still wanted to flip this situation, make him bow and scrape, put him on his knees in any way she could. The other half, the rising half, actually wanted what he could give her—a strong hand, a will to match her own. She sure as hell hadn’t come across another man who brought out a submissive side of her.
Again, the wicked gleam. “Choose it. It’s only fun if you want to. Mostly.”
“Fun? You do this for fun?”
“Absolutely. Does that answer your question?”
She nodded slowly and Johnny’s shoulders relaxed. He took her hand. “Isn’t that why you do it too?” he asked.
She had to think about that. Her eyes rested on the blond boy in the corner. He was waiting for her. She knew he was waiting for her. So like Damian, her first love and the man who had introduced her to the BDSM lifestyle, with his long, blond curls and sweet disposition. Also like him in his need to serve. She shook her head. “No, that’s not why I do it.”
“Then welcome to my world, Destiny. Good times, guaranteed. Give me a night, one night, to show you how much pure pleasure can be found in submission.” The merry devil was back, daring her.
His fingers stroked across her palm, tickling, arousing, centering her awareness on the tiny connection between their bodies. The heat of his hand warmed her cold corners. His touch mesmerized, held her captive, motionless. Her clit throbbed, trapped between its ring and the hard barstool. She knew she must look like a sub already, sinking into her space.
She gasped, one word, “Yes.”