Initiation (Master Class, #1) - Sierra Cartwright

Chapter One


Ever since he’d been unceremoniously dumped on his ass three years ago, Logan Powell had done the world a favor by avoiding the fairer sex. Women had very real needs, emotional as well as physical. They deserved to be involved with someone who was a better person than he was.

So what the hell was he doing at a BDSM play party in the dungeon of his friend’s home, staring at the petite blonde on the other side of the room?

It wasn’t just her strong, athletic build that attracted him, but also the short spiky hair, fuck-me boots, tight black T-shirt and skimpy leather skirt. What did him in, though, was the way she tugged on the hem of her skirt in a betrayal of nerves.

He propped a foot against the wall behind him and watched her fidget as he considered his next move. It had been months since he’d scened. And on the rare occasions when he did play, he preferred to engage with experienced submissives. If his tingling detective senses were anything to go by, the woman in question had never been dominated.

Double fuck.

He shouldn’t ache to be the one to give her the first taste of the exquisite pleasure that came from submitting. Shouldn’t. But he did.

Joe Montrose, the house’s owner and tonight’s host, walked over and stood next to Logan. “Jennifer…” Joe said.

“What?” Logan cupped his ear to indicate he was having difficulty hearing over the thundering pulse of a Nine Inch Nails song.

Joe repeated himself. “Her name’s Jennifer Berklee. She works with Noelle. It’s Jennifer’s first time at one of these events.”

“I’m not interested.” Logan shook his head, wondering when he’d become a liar.

“You don’t miss it?”

“Playing with a newbie?” Teaching her about her own responses? Driving her to the edge of distraction, keeping her there, then shoving her over it so he could catch her and care for her? “No.”

“Not at all?”

Despite himself, Logan watched as Jennifer squared her shoulders and moved toward Simon, a Dom who regularly attended a number of events in the area. Her hips swayed alluringly and Logan adored the way she all but strutted in those booted heels. For a stupid, but thankfully brief, second he wished she was walking in his direction. “Is Simon still looking for someone to collar?” Simple Simon, as Logan thought of him, though it probably wasn’t a fair nickname. But from what Logan had seen, the man had a single approach to women, and a boring one at that. He never seemed to drive a sub to the very edges of endurance and give her amazing completion. The man wasn’t a bad Dom, just an uninspired one.

“Yeah,” Joe replied. “He’s been looking since Lisa ditched him.”

Shouldn’t matter. Nope. Not a bit.

Joe said something that Logan missed. Even though he clearly knew he was being ignored, Joe kept running his mouth. “So, are you?”

Logan dragged his attention away from Jennifer. “Am I what?”

“Coming to Noelle’s surprise birthday party? She’s turning thirty.”

“When is it?”

“Three weeks.”

Logan turned and narrowed his gaze at the man who’d been a friend since basic training. Later, after they’d left the service, they’d returned to the Middle East as civilians. They’d survived two years of skin-searing heat and an explosion in which most of their team had died. Because of what they’d shared and how well they knew each other, Logan knew Joe’s vague answer meant he was hedging. “What date?” Logan frowned at his so-called friend. “Specifically.”

“Ah. February fourteenth.”

Logan scowled. “I fucking hate Valentine’s Day. You know that.” It wasn’t just the cloying expectations but the still-raw memories that he preferred to leave buried. Being among happy, loving couples only made it worse.

“Missing the party will make you a bigger asshole than you already are,” Joe replied cheerfully.

“Fuck off.”

Joe grinned. Not much bothered the man.

In silence, they watched the interplay between Jennifer and Master Simon.

“If you’re interested in playing with her, either Noelle or I can arrange it.” Without waiting for a reply, Joe moved off, leaving Logan in blessed, voyeuristic peace.

Dom and sub spoke for a few moments and eventually Master Simon nodded at the St. Andrew’s cross.

A blaze of unwelcome and unwanted possession arced through Logan as she closed the distance toward the X-shaped BDSM equipment.

As if sensing his attention, she glanced over at him.

He folded his arms across his chest as their gazes locked.

Even across the distance, he saw her shiver.

Smart girl, recognizing the danger he emanated.

After a few seconds, she shook her head and turned away.

Simple Simon