HOSTILE TAKEOVER: A KNIGHTS OF THE BOARD ROOM NOVEL

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A Master stayed in control, particularly with a new sub, one experiencing that wild vacillation of emotional and physical reactions for the first time. He was entirely responsible for her well-being while she was under his dominance. Yet Marcie had a way of taking him off guard. He shouldn't have given her that kiss.

* * *

EXCERPT FROM HOSTILE TAKEOVER
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The kiss had been too intimate and personal, contradicting what he’d said only a few minutes earlier, that he was merely her mentor. Contradictions, inconsistencies. They would lead to real problems in an actual, intense session.

It wasn’t the first time he’d told himself that, but it didn’t seem to help much this time, either. As they walked the few blocks to his place, she kept stopping to peer through the iron fences at the alley gardens, the hidden treasure trove of the New Orleans Garden District. The gardens were as diverse as the people who lived there. One narrow space might look like a miniature English garden, right out of the pages of a home magazine; another was a chaotic design of homemade wire sculpture, English ivy, and an old wooden chair painted to look like a cat’s grinning face. Marcie was a sensual creature who noticed things like that, took pleasure in them.

When she turned to look at him, a small smile playing on her face, he reached out. She took his hand, that smile warming like a welcome touch of late afternoon sun on a winter day. As they kept walking down the street, her hand felt good in his, slim and restless, fingers tightening, little teasing strokes as she pointed out this or that, asked him questions about the neighborhood. The silver beads he’d helped her acquire still swung on her neck. He’d removed his, added them to hers, so the two colors sparkled together.

“Is your sister happy running Pickard’s satellite office here?” he asked.

“Are you kidding? She loves it. She misses the Lakeshore house in Baton Rouge, but she and Lucas found such a nice place, she’s feeling better about it. The Lakeshore house was one she bought with her own money, and after all she’d been through to reach that point, it meant a lot to her.”

“After everything you’d all been through.”

“It was hardest on her. She was in charge of everything.”

“You were second oldest. When she was working, you were in charge of the kids. The nanny Pickard hired was only part-time.”

“Well, I took over because I wanted extra spending money.”

“Yes, that was your official story. Pickard paid you the money he was paying the nanny, and you turned around and used it to help out with expenses for the kids and the house.”

She shrugged that off, but he wouldn’t let it go. “All of you had to deal with what happened with your parents. Jeremy.”

“It was okay. We were okay.”

“Marcie.” He stopped her. “You’ve been goal-oriented since you were in puberty. You were planning to be a business major before you were out of middle school. Your whole life was about taking care of those kids, dealing with your parents’ instability and planning for a career. You didn’t get a chance to do things like go to a carnival with a boyfriend, walk around holding hands.”

“Well, I can now. Given the company, it was worth the wait.” She lifted their clasped hands, put her other one over it. Daring, she dropped her head, pressed her lips to his knuckles, rubbed her cheek against him.

* * *

His hand fit his large frame, the fingers deliciously thick when they pushed inside her, but in appearance they had a masculine elegance, like a master artist’s. Marcie thought of his expert cooking again, as well as the other things he could do with those talented digits.

Sighing, he brushed his other palm over her hair, tugged until she lifted her head. “You don’t have to be goal-oriented in every aspect of your life anymore," he said. "You can still have your career, but enjoy dating, getting out and seeing the world. Having fun with friends.”

She withdrew, went back to strolling. “It’s funny how people say that. ‘Put off getting married and having a family, because you need to live your life first’. To me, loving someone is living.” She stopped then. “When you talk to someone who’s done all that traveling, experiencing and ‘living’, you know what they say? That they wish they’d had someone special in their life, sharing it with them. Marriage isn’t a prison sentence—it’s an invitation for someone else to join you on your journey, experience all those things together.”

She left it at that, only because she knew the dangers of getting too personal with him, too fast. Did he know he looked at the others with their wives like the lone wolf? Still part of the pack but somehow not. She’d seen it in his eyes at Jon and Rachel’s wedding. It had frustrated the hell out of her, knowing she was still too young to help ease that for him. In the deepening lines on his face, the more serious set to his mouth, it was more obvious to her now than it had been even then.

He resumed walking, but he took her hand once more. “It’s impossible to argue with you if you’re going to be unreasonable.”

She slid her other hand around his elbow, so she could press her body against his. “That’s your way of saying I’m right.”

“I would never say anything so foolish. Telling a woman she’s right is like giving a terrorist a nuclear weapon. Widespread destruction is inevitable.”

He stopped in front of a row of townhouses that had obviously once been a large estate. It now continued its life of graceful historic beauty in three partitions, with the narrow dividing lines of more scenic-alley nooks. “Since you know everything about me, I assume you know this is where I live.”

“It was tough, because you’ve moved around a lot. In fact, you only bought this in the past year, and negotiated a price Satan would envy. Your place in the Warehouse District is close to the office, and you stay there most times

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Written by Story Witch
Uploaded July 17, 2020
Notes Since she was a teenager, Marcie had yearned for Ben. Now at last she's old enough to go after the man she wants to call Master. Ben is a demanding Dominant, a sadist who demands everything from his submissive. Marcie is not only willing to give him that; she'll care for his heart, even as he claims her soul.
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