Copyright © 2015 Sheryl Nantus
All rights reserved — a Samhain Publishing, Ltd. publication

Kate Dubois was bored.

She looked down at the man nuzzling her bare ankle. She’d let him strip off the leather boot after he’d pleaded for the privilege, begged for ten
minutes.

His lips ran over her ankle, soft kisses caressing her skin. He sighed as he worshipped her body.

A memory resurfaced of Carl, kneeling at her feet and doing the same. It’d been different, felt different—his body tensed up like a watch wound one
twist too tight.

He looked up, and she knew it was over.

Kate gulped.

“Mistress?” Dan looked up at her with wide eyes. “Am I doing something wrong?”

Damn.

“No, pet. You’re perfect.” She reached down and patted his head before tangling her fingers in his long black locks. A gentle tug brought a moan from
the kneeling man. “But I don’t recall giving permission for you to speak.” Kate ran her fingers along the leather collar. “Do you?”

The momentary flash of panic in his eyes warmed her heart.

She tapped the leather paddle she held in her left hand against her leg. “I thought not. I think a few strokes should remind you of your manners.
Continue your venerations while I make my decision about how many you’ve earned with your disobedience.”

He shook with a mixture of need and fear before bending down.

Kate switched the paddle to her right hand and eyed the already pink skin on Dan’s exposed behind. She’d worked him over for a good half hour,
bending him over his couch like an errant schoolboy.

He could take ten more strokes.

Maybe twenty.

Dan gasped as the black leather snapped against his sensitive skin, but said nothing, continuing to lick and kiss her bare foot.

Nineteen to go.

The soft chime from her phone reminded her she had fifteen minutes left. Kate smiled and continued the count.

Never leave a good job unfinished.

Never leave them fully satisfied.

She’d pulled on her track pants and sweatshirt while Dan was in the washroom, trading her boots for a pair of comfortable sneakers. Most times she
could slip her trench coat on over her attire and leave, but it was a bright and sunny day outside and the coat would only raise more questions than it’d
quell.

Dan met her at the door, wearing a pair of shorts and with a damp towel around his neck. The leather collar was gone, safely tucked away. He was
still munching on the chocolate bar she’d given him during their post-session hugging. His pupils were focused and clear, showing her he’d come
back to himself after the intense emotional trip.

“Thank you.” He held out his debit card. “Really needed this today.”

She smiled. “Glad I could help you.”

In another life, Dan was a high-priced lawyer, one of the best in the city. He ran his law firm with an iron grip and was famous for his vicious verbal
attacks in court that eviscerated lesser lawyers and their clients.

Here, he was a bad boy needing to be punished and put in his place for imagined slights.

Dan couldn’t go to a regular BDSM club—the danger was too high he’d be recognized. Thus he’d become a client of Hooded Pleasures, the company
Kate worked for.

In retrospect, she wondered why no one had thought of doing something like this before. Safe, sane, consensual and all within the privacy of your own
home. There were plenty of men and women who wanted the experience but couldn’t or wouldn’t go to a club. Or who wanted the thrill without the
relationship.

This was perfect.

She ran his debit card through the slot on her cell phone and handed it back to him. “Two weeks from now, then?”

He nodded, his steely blue eyes a thousand miles away from the meek sub she’d had at her feet earlier. “I have a big murder case coming up.
Definitely need the time.”

“I understand.” Kate hefted the duffle bag onto her shoulder, the leather paddle safely tucked away with her other toys. “Please call the switchboard if
there’s any change. I’ll see you then.”

He opened the door to let her out. “Nice sweats.”

Kate smiled, going with the joke. “Feel the burn.”

“Next time, then.” Dan raised his voice as Kate walked out into the hall. “Need to work on my cardio.”

It wasn’t for her benefit.

Kate nodded at the nosy little old lady neighbor who peeked out from two doors down.

Mrs. Henderson never missed a chance to eavesdrop on what happened on her floor.

Good thing Dan enjoyed the ball gag.

The woman scowled at her and shut the door, her regular routine accomplished. Kate resisted the urge to wave at her. There was a chance it might
lead to a conversation, and she couldn’t risk it. Her cover story was good, but a dedicated busybody might try to poke holes in it, and that wouldn’t
turn out well.

As far as anyone knew, Kate was a private trainer, coming to work Dan hard for two hours every two weeks.

Which she did, with pleasure.

Which he paid for, with pleasure.

Everyone got what they wanted.

Another success for Hooded Pleasures.

Her phone rang as she strolled out onto the sidewalk. She looked at the display and saw HP’s number come up.

Kate frowned. This wasn’t usual.

She’d sent her safe-word text to let Dispatch know she finished her appointment and was free to leave right after caring for Dan. It was mandatory at
the end of every appointment without any exceptions, keeping both of them out of trouble.

Safe-words worked on both ends of the equation.

“Hello?”

“Kate. Tracy here.”

The head dispatcher. The one woman who, aside from the owners, knew who was where doing what to whom across the board. A powerful position,
which was why Kate was very sure Tracy’s name wasn’t actually Tracy.

“Wendy wants you to come in for a meeting.”

Kate jaywalked across the busy street, hopping over the streetcar tracks. Toronto might have a great mass transit system, but she didn’t need to twist
her ankle trying to avoid the thick metal strips.

Her car sat around the corner in a public parking lot, one of many set around the downtown core. There were few visitor spots at Dan’s apartment
building, and she didn’t want to take one up on a regular basis.

“Is everything okay?” she asked. For a frantic second, she considered her last few minutes with Dan. “Are there problems?”

If he called and complained—

“No, no. Nothing like that. She wants to discuss a new client with you.”

Kate popped the trunk of her Ford Taurus and dropped the bag in. “I’m not interested in taking on anyone new. I’m happy with the workload I have
now.” She resisted the urge to look around and see if anyone was listening.

“It’s a special case, and Wendy wants you.” The tone in Tracy’s voice left no room for argument. “Tomorrow morning at nine would be good.”

A Saturday? Must be special.

“I’ll be there. Thank you.”

“Thank you,” Tracy smoothly replied. “Dan called in and put a nice tip on your bill today. You must have been good.”

Kate laughed as she fumbled with her car keys. “Only he’ll ever know.”
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