Desiree Holt | USA Today & Award-Winning Author


Erector Set, Book 3

Why could he only find her when she appeared as Flame?

Tyler McMann—contractor by day, Dom by night. Jenyfer Mayhew—accountant by day, sought-after sub by night. She’s the masked Flame, the star of Finesse, an upscale private dungeon where the only numbers that count are how many strokes of the paddle a sub can take. Tyler is one of its best customers, a place where he can shuck the discipline of his work and indulge his fantasies. The chemistry between the two lights up the sky. But when he learns her real identity, he has to work hard to keep her from running and realize she can truly depend on him.

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“Busy tonight,” Tyler McMann observed, leaning against the bar in the lounge section of Finesse. “Is it always like this on the weekends?”

Daks, the bartender, nodded. “Man, you think this is busy? This is nothing. A light turnout.”

“Then it’s a good thing I like to come in during the week.”

Daks cocked a brow at him. “Yeah, that’s right. So what are you doing here on the weekend?”

Tyler shrugged. “I had a very tough couple of weeks out of state then worked late every night this week catching up on local stuff. Otherwise I’d have been here midweek. But I just got back yesterday and everyone I know is busy tonight, including all the newlyweds in my family. I had some offers, but nothing that interested me.” He noticed people taking their coffee or soft drinks and leaving sizable money on the bar. “Better tips than during the week, I see.”

“You know it, even with low alcohol sales.”

Finesse had an unbreakable rule that its members not drink anything alcoholic if they even thought they were going to play. The club prided itself on providing a safe environment for its members and guests. People breaking that rule often found themselves on the outside looking in.

“I’ll be sure to take up a collection for you.”

Everyone was aware that Daks, like all the other employees at Finesse, were very well paid. They were handpicked by the owner and were known for being attentive and discreet. The atmosphere they created was what drew the elite clientele.

Tyler took a swallow of coffee from the engraved mug Finesse used for its coffee service and looked around at the crowd. He’d been a member of Finesse for a long time now, ever since an old college friend had introduced him to the BDSM lifestyle. Neither of his brothers were aware of this, which was one reason why he seldom brought the women he dated to any gatherings.

But he was getting older and changing partners was beginning to wear on him. He wanted someone who blended with him in the bedroom as well as the other parts of his life. His family didn’t need to know the kind of sex he loved and beyond that he needed a woman with a brain and a sense of humor who was a match for his two sisters-in-law. Both Josh’s wife, Vanessa, and Alex’s wife, Livy, were corporate vice presidents. Tough models to live up to, but he was sure there had to be at least one woman out there who was aggressive on the outside and submissive on the inside.

The problem was he hadn’t connected on an emotional level with any of the women he spent time with. He was beginning to wonder if he ever would.

Finishing the coffee, he tapped his mug on the bar, signaling Daks that he needed a refill, again scanning the room. After the stressful weeks working the Concordia multiuse development in Wyoming, he needed a break. McMann development was doing it all, soup to nuts, and the project was a massive one. Tyler had been flying back and forth to supervise, sometimes spending weeks there. This week he happened to be in town and the first thing he’d done was head for Finesse.

He roamed his gaze over the crowd, the jumble of conversations and sounds buzzing in his ears. All around him people were grouped in pairs and trios, in various stages of undress and activity. He knew that soon most of them would be moving to one of the private rooms. Maybe tonight would be his lucky night.

Something flashed at the corner of his eyes, a bright color, and he turned to get a better look at it. Coming down the hallway where the private rooms were located was a woman who just took his breath away. He figured she was about five foot six, but the four-inch heels on her thigh-high black boots would bring her closer to Tyler’s six feet. She wore nothing but a black bustier, laced in the front, her plump breasts resting on a built-in shelf. Her hair was an astounding shade of deep red and cascaded down her back in rich waves. Curls of the same color peeped out from the edge of the bustier, calling attention to her exposed pussy.

Completing the image was a glitter-sprinkled black mask that covered the upper portion of her face. She looked and walked like the ultimate Domme. He was shocked to see the thin red collar around her neck. Finesse provided collars and cuffs for subs to wear, showing they were available. This woman didn’t look like any sub he’d ever been with.

Every bit of saliva in Tyler’s mouth dried up as he stared at her. Where the hell had she been that he’d never noticed her before? At once, he visualized her naked, spread-eagle before him as he rammed his cock into her.

Easy, boy.

“Hot, isn’t she?” Daks’ voce held a hint of amusement.

“No shit. Who is she, anyway?”

“That’s Flame. She even makes me drool. And I’ve seen ’em in all kinds and all sizes.”

“Is she really a sub? She sure walks like a Domme. And dresses like one.”

Daks inclined his head in the woman’s direction. “She’s a switch. Top or bottom. Player’s choice.”

“You’re kidding, right?”

Daks refilled Tyler’s mug yet again and shook his head. “She has what you’d call a special situation.”

Tyler curled his hands around the mug. He had to keep himself from yanking the bartender across the polished wood and smacking the information out of him. “Yeah? Special situation? Explain that.”

“Okay, okay. Don’t get your shorts in a bunch.” He polished the bar with a soft towel as he spoke. “She’s always booked one hundred percent for every night she comes in.”

“Booked? Then why is she wearing a collar that signals her availability?”

“Because she’s so much in demand that the owner lets her call her own shots. Even assigned a room just to her on her regular nights.”

Now Tyler was intrigued. Certain Doms paid for the privilege of always having the same room, but never a sub. Even if she was a switch, she had to be very talented at both ends of the spectrum for that kind of privilege.

“Another thing,” Daks continued, “her sessions never last more than one hour and she never plays more than twice. She also has the option of canceling her second scene if the first one wears her out too much.”

“Holy shit! She must be something special. How come I’ve never seen her before? How long has she been a member?”

“Five years.”

“You’re shitting me.” He swallowed the rest of his coffee. “If she’s been here that long, I know I’d have run into her before this.”

“Not necessarily. She might not have been here on the nights you come in. She works weekends and most of the time you come in during the week.” Daks frowned. “Why is that, anyway?”

Tyler gave an uncomfortable shrug. “My family doesn’t know what goes on in my sex life. Most weekends I spend with them or hanging out with some vanilla woman who’s appropriate for a double date with one of my brothers.”

“Well, there you go.” He paused. “None of my business, and a lot of people feel the way you do, but are you sure your brothers would freak out if they knew about this? Don’t you think they’ll find out sooner or later?”

“I can’t answer either of those questions.” He turned his cup upside down on a napkin, signaling the bartender to take it away. “Anyway, at the moment, it doesn’t matter because I’m not hooked up with anyone. Not that I haven’t given it some thought.”

“You?” Daks tossed the bar rag onto the shelf beneath the counter. “Don’t take this wrong, but I don’t see you settling down any time soon.”

Tyler swallowed his irritation. He was thirty-six, for god’s sake. Did he have such a reputation as a BDSM player that no one saw him in any other light? Of course, he’d had that same opinion of himself until both of his brothers were lucky enough to find women to settle down with. Now a little knot of jealousy had formed, which he kept trying to dismiss.

But he had to admit that the prospect had begun to appeal to him more and more. With this project in Wyoming taking up so much of his time, he often thought how great it would be to come home to the right kind of woman. Someone who loved him and was as much into the lifestyle as he was. Someone who could make a home for him in and out of the bedroom.

So why all of a sudden was he fascinated by this woman who was nothing like the subs that attracted him? He was startled to realize she had shifted her gaze to him, their eyes locking for a brief moment. Just that quick she focused on Marco again, but in that brief moment Tyler had the burning sensation he’d been zapped by a laser.

“Maybe I just need to change my priorities,” he told Daks. “See you later.”

He made his way through the lounge area to where Flame stood talking to Marco Alfaro, the dungeon master. Feigning disinterest, he leaned against the wall, hands in his pockets, letting his gaze roam the room. But he was close enough that he could overhear the conversation, despite the low tone of the voices.

“I don’t care what kind of bonus he offers,” Flame said. “Or what his pedigree is. This is the third time he’s been a no show. And I’ve lost an hour out of my schedule.”

“I’ll talk to him,” Marco told her. “Explain to him that a session with you is a privilege and that privilege can be revoked. I’ll tell him this is his final warning.”

Flame shook her head. “You’ve done that already. It’s my choice. Take him off my list.”

Marco nodded. “As you wish. Shall I let it be known you have an opening that you’d like to fill?”

“Mmm, no. I think I’d like to see what’s available first.” She laughed, a soft musical sound. “Maybe I’ll find someone new. My choice, as I said.”

Tyler swallowed a smile. He could see this beautiful creature as a Domme, no problem, but sub? Not so much. He’d believe it when he saw it. But that gave him another idea. As Marco walked away, Tyler pushed himself away from the wall right into Flame’s path. Through the slits in the mask, her emerald-green eyes widened. Every muscle in her body tensed and she took a step backward.

“We haven’t met although I can’t figure out why. I’m Tyler.”

“I’ve heard your name.” Her voice was low and husky, the sound like erotic music. She offered him a tiny smile. “Your subs say you’re very good to them.”

Tyler nodded once. He was trying to figure out the explosion of chemistry between himself and this woman that had surged out of nowhere. When he’d walked into the club, his shaft had been at half-mast. Semi-ready, he called it, waiting for someone to bring it to life. Now, it was trying to shove its way out of his slacks. He dropped his gaze to the dark ginger curls, just the hint of them visible on the pouty lips of her cunt below the bustier. Jesus, he wanted to lie down and order her to sit on his face until he’d satisfied himself.

And her scent. Lord, she smelled like sandalwood and jasmine and cinnamon all blended together.

He could picture her restrained, legs spread apart, rounded ass cheeks a beautiful shade of red from the use of a crop, the liquid of her arousal flooding her pussy and dampening her thighs. He had to bite the inside of his cheek to regain some semblance of self-control.

“I couldn’t help overhearing parts of your conversation with Marco.”

Her laugh was full-throated and very sexy. “Then you must either have very keen hearing or you were making it your business. With all the conversation and other sounds going on in here right now, I’d imagine accidental eavesdropping would be quite difficult.”

He gave her what he hoped was an engaging grin. “Okay, so maybe it wasn’t so accidental. But what I heard was correct, right? You have some free time?”

“Depending on your definition of free. Why do you want to know?”

Her lips were a full, lush red. Tyler was so fascinated by them he almost missed what she was saying.


Her voice broke into the sexual haze enveloping him and he gave himself a mental shake.

“Yes. Right here. I understand you have special circumstances here. So do you keep your own calendar or does Marco schedule your appointments for you?”

“Both. Depends on the person and what they want.”

“Which category would I fall into? Because I’d like to take whatever you’ve got of your suddenly free hour.”

He was careful with his phrasing. Flame was so different from the subs he was used to, women who were not subservient to the naked eye. They fell into that persona the moment they arrived at Finesse. But from what Daks had told him about this woman, he figured she reserved that part of her personality for her playroom.

He was very aware of her studying him through the slits in the mask and forced himself to retain his relaxed posture.

“Give me a few minutes and I’ll give you my answer. Where will I find you?”

“I’ll be right here.” He leaned back against the wall again, feigning a nonchalance he didn’t feel. The longer he stood there with her, the more his cock throbbed and his balls ached. He wanted her with a fierceness he hadn’t felt in a long time, but he was too much the Dom to let her control the situation. Then, because he couldn’t help himself he added, “Unless something better comes along.”

He expected a sharp comeback from her. Instead, she smiled. “Trust me. You won’t find anything better than me.”

With a shake of her head that sent the gorgeous waterfall of red hair shimmering down her back, she strode off to the corner where Marco was watching the room. They stood in conversation for a moment and Tyler had all he could do not to stare at them. He couldn’t believe how anxious he was for this woman, how just the sight of her heated his blood to boiling. He wanted to rip off the bustier and expose everything it concealed. Run his tongue over every inch of her skin.

He shifted his gaze and focused on a threesome—two men and one woman—who were occupying the couch just to his right. Both men were seated and the woman was lying across their laps, her legs spread. The man at her hip had his hand inside her cunt and she had her mouth wrapped around the second man. Tyler liked to watch but not half as much as he liked to play.

The man with his cock in the woman’s mouth had just climaxed and he could tell the woman was about to reach her own orgasm when he heard that low voice at his shoulder.

“You must tip Marco under the table.”

“Oh?” He looked up and down every inch of her body. “Why do you say that?”

“He seldom gives anyone, Dom or sub, such high marks. You’re either very influential or very good.”

Tyler couldn’t help the wolfish grin. “Definitely very good.”

She cocked her head. “Well, then. I have a little more than thirty minutes free. Shall we see if you live up to your reputation?”

“That doesn’t give us a lot of time,” he protested. He had so many things he wanted to do to her. With her. Her light scent, sandalwood and something indefinable, drifted across his nostrils and he had to stop himself from drawing in a long breath.

“If you’re that good,” she teased, “you should be very inventive, too.”

“Oh, I am. Count on it.”

She led him down the short hallway to the last room on the right, swiped her key card and opened the door. The moment he stepped inside, Tyler’s senses were swamped by the same scent that enveloped Flame, except here it was stronger. He closed the door behind him and studied the room.

Thick navy carpeting on the floor complemented the soft blue walls. Manacles hung on chains from various points of the ceiling. There was every possible kind of equipment available and ready to use, and a carved chest that he was sure held whatever toys a person would need. It was obvious Flame was well-grounded in BDSM and had prepared her room for every eventuality.

He waited, watching her to see what she would do next. Waiting to see which Flame would appear. He liked a kickass woman but not in the bedroom. There she had to be strong but submissive. He held his breath as he waited.

At last, she turned to face him and with a graceful movement dropped to her knees, hands behind her back, eyes lowered in the typical submissive pose. His heart began to pound in anticipation, ramping up even harder at her next words.

“I am yours, Master. Tell me how I may please you?”