HAND OF THE MASTER by Madeleine Oh
Dominant Lovers Series Book One
Helen Crewe goes to Les Santons for a new job and much needed change in her life. What greets her is fascinating work cataloging a library of erotic literature and illustrations. And then there is Luc, her definitely sexy and truly dominant employer.
Aided by his secretary Branko, Luc makes Helen feel very much at home on his estate overlooking the sea. It seems like the perfect situation—sunshine, great work and two eager Doms as lovers. Or it would be, if it weren’t for the break-in and violent attack on a fellow employee that quickly change the course of Helen’s idyllic escape.
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Helen turned, swiveling the chair. Luc stood in the doorway, smiling.
God! No employer had the right to be so sexy. A smile like his should be illegal, but it was also wonderful when aimed right at her.
“Good afternoon, Madame Crewe.”
“Hi.” Seemed a rather inadequate response to his warm, and decidedly enticing, French accent.
“Branko said you’d be back late.” As if it made any difference and what business was it of hers if her employer chose to walk into his own house earlier than expected?
He gave a very Gallic shrug. “My business was over and I wanted to review your progress.”
That was easy and safe enough.
Or was it? His gaze pretty much fixated on the leather manacles. As did hers, as he reached over her shoulder, not touching, but his arm came close enough for her to feel the warmth of his skin. He picked up the first restraint, running his fingers over the red leather.
“Ah,” he said, as the corner of his wide mouth twitched. “You found them.”
Obviously. And what was she to make of that comment? Did he know about the other contents of that box? “Yes,” she replied, forcing her voice to stay level. “An interesting collection. I wasn’t sure how they should be cataloged.”
His laugh came like warm honey across her skin. All that was needed was for him to lick it off. Whoa. Not a chance. She was not getting involved that way with him. Even if he did have eyes that promised wild pleasure and…
She gulped as he ran the silk lining over his hands. His fingers were long and slender and curled over the soft leather as if caressing it. And darn him, he was watching her. Gauging her reaction. At least she remembered to close her mouth.
“You wonder how to catalog them?” he asked, and smiled. “I’m not sure one can. How would you describe the contents of my box?”
His box? He’d put it there? “Assorted sex toys,” she replied, pleased she managed it without panting or gasping.
“Yes,” he replied. “The perfect description.”
Pretty basic and hardly that impressive. “An interesting collection. Has it been in your family long?” Sheesh. Where had that come from?
Wherever it came from, it made him happy, if the glint in his eyes was anything to go by. “No, not long, Mrs. Crewe.” He was still running the restraint through his fingers. There was something almost mesmerizing about the red leather against his skin. “And these are especially fine. Made in an atelier in Milan.” He took her hand in his and wrapped the manacle around her wrist. “See how well it fits? The glove leather is like a second skin.”
Yes, she did see, and feel. Was it the softness of the leather or the warm caress of silk lining that had her catching her breath? Could be his voice in her ear and the touch of his fingers against her skin. Or maybe she was just desperate for it.
Or him. So much for not getting involved with her employer. No man looked at a woman with that look in his eyes if all he was interested in was progress of the catalog.
No, that was… “What do you think, Madame Crewe?”
That she was getting horny and he was eminently fuckable. “Excellent workmanship. Italians have always been renowned for the quality of their leather work.” She sounded like a walking tourist brochure.
Amused him though. “Indeed they have. Now tell me,” as he spoke he tightened the buckle, securing the leather to her wrist,. “how does that feel?”
“Wonderful.” She’d blurted without thinking and it couldn’t be unsaid.
“You enjoy the caress of a restraint, Madame Crewe?”
He was heating her up, but still addressed her formally. The French really were different. “I used to.”
“Ah.” One syllable carried so much understanding. “When your husband was alive?”
She nodded. God, it had been so long.
“Forgive me. I intrude where I have no right.” He unbuckled the manacle and unwound it from her wrists. “My apologies. But the leather looked so fitting against your skin.” He turned, taking both the manacles with him. “Again forgive me. I will see you at dinner.”
He might have gone but his presence remained. Did all men here wear super-sexy aftershave? His left behind a faint whiff of bergamot. Forget his choice of perfume. What was she to make of that little episode? She closed her eyes, remembering the touch of his fingers on her skin and the pressure of silk and the scent of soft leather. Darn. She was reading far too much into one casual conversation.
And if she wasn’t?
Then she had some decisions to make.
And the rest of the box to catalog. She was pretty sure there wasn’t a Dewey Decimal code for Assorted Sex Toys. She’d better invent one. Fast.
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