HIDDEN COMMAND

BDSM Romance

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Being restrained and left alone in the dark wasn’t what Lisa Crawford was bargaining on when she agreed to play with a dominant man. Nor was she counting on being rescued by her first love, the man who introduced her to BDSM.

It’s not that she doesn’t want to try again. It’s just that… well, how can she trust any Dom in private now? And how can she meet their expectations in public when she’s so confused?

Luckily Samuel Lang is up to the task. Clever, creative and ready for a challenge, he’s going to show her there’re many ways to be dominated, if only she’ll give him another chance.

EXCERPT

Samuel Lang stepped up to the front door and tried his mate’s phone. Again.

Cupping a hand to the opaque glass in an attempt to see, he took in the dark entrance hall, not seeing anything beyond. Did he have the right address? He’d only dropped by the guy’s place once before, and it’d been a while ago.

The call went through to message bank as he stepped back to check the front of the building another time. Hell, everything looked the same on this street. The security light went out, cloaking him in blackness again, and he considered just giving up and going home. He’d made a commitment though, and that meant something as far as he was concerned.

Giving up on the phone, he shuffled around long enough to trigger the sensor, and when the light returned he spotted the cheesy old welcome mat he remembered from his other visit to the house.

“Bless all those who step inside.”

Yeah, okay. Right house.

So where was Ian?

And what was that weird noise he heard coming from inside?

Unease settled in the centre of his chest as he knocked again, more loudly this time. The sane part of him thought it was more than likely he was interrupting a great scene, and the reason nobody came to the door was that they didn’t want interruptions. The cautious part of him was aware a one-on-one scene hadn’t been part of the deal. Not with the level of inexperience he expected to find inside.

It wouldn’t be the first time he’d have had to call his mate out on irresponsible behaviour when it came to dealing with subs, hence his presence there tonight.

Fidgeting, tapping his foot, he went through his options. He had to do something because, well hell, that was the reason he’d muscled in on this evening to begin with. They’d come to an agreement that Ian Monahan wouldn’t scene in private for a long while; the man was a decent guy – usually – but also a bit of an idiot.

Sighing, he checked the street for any signs the guy already had visitors, but there were too many vehicles parked haphazardly along the footpath for him to be able to tell. At another weird thudding sound from inside, he knocked again – louder this time – and then decided on a crazier course of action.

“Damn,” he breathed, and took a look at the small passage running down the side of the house.

It was time to go all Peeping Tom.

He moved slowly, damn near breaking his shin on a crate, and then walked face-first through a cobweb. Crap. This was so not good. The noises from inside the townhouse had stopped, and not even the string of swear words he let out roused any more.

With pain still radiating in every direction from the centre of his shin, he wiped his brow with the back of his hand – it was one of those humid summer evenings – and ran his hands against the brick of the building to guide himself. It was a big building; an old house converted into four apartments. From memory, the entire ground floor on the right hand side of the building belonged to Ian.

Stopping at the first window, he cupped his hands against the glass – damn. Closed curtains. One more window before he hit the back of the building, and the curtains there were closed too.

Only… there was a faint glow from inside, like there was a lamp on somewhere in there. He stayed pressed against the glass for a few seconds, not sure what that’d achieve, not being able to see a thing, and then changed from Peeping Tom to full-on stalker voyeur and rapped on the glass with his knuckles.

“Hey” he called. “Ian? Anybody in there?”

No surprise that there was no response. He’d probably imagined the whole thing.

He was about to admit defeat and call it an early night when he heard a thump. And then another. Then a high-pitched tapping sound. Metal against metal. Pressing both hands against the glass, Sam strained to see what was impossible to see.

“Hey!” he tried again, more loudly. “It’s Sam.”

The tapping became faster.

Not good. Surely, not good. He felt around the window frame, looking for a lever but finding none. It was old wood, and the whole thing sat crookedly. He’d never get it open.

“Shit,” he muttered as he continued around the back of the building. “I’m coming round the back,” he called out, with no idea who he spoke to.

The back light was on, and the tapping coming from inside was easier to hear as he stepped further away from the street. Worry intensified, curling in his belly, and he knew that any second now he’d have to consider kicking the door in.

Really not wanting to start his weekend with a break-and-enter charge, he tried one final time.

“Um, Ian? Can you come and answer the bloody door?”

Footsteps crunched behind him, and – of all people – Ian stepped onto the porch, a supermarket bag dangling from his fingers.

“Sam? You’re early…” There was something sheepish about his expression.

“What’s going on in there? I heard someone.”

“Uhm…” he fidgeted, “You did? It’s nothing to worry about, just some fun.”

Sam looked to the door, not wanting to think the worst of a friend but thinking it all the same.

“What kind of fun, exactly?” He looked from the shopping bag to the man, and back again. “You weren’t even here for it.”

The other man raised his eyebrows at his tone, but stepped ahead and unlocked the door. The noises from inside became louder as he stepped inside, and then stopped when whoever it was realised someone was there.

Sam pushed past the other man, not waiting for an invitation to go check out the situation.

“Hello? Where are you?”

He didn’t wait for an answer, stalking down the hall to the room where he’d seen the light.

The lounge room. And it was empty.

He tried the next room, the one cloaked in complete blackness, and groped along the wall for a switch. Panicked hazel eyes looked up as him as he got the light on.

“Well, shit,” he said under his breath as he took in the scene. No wonder she couldn’t reply to his calls: she was gagged.

And cuffed to – under – the fucking desk. This was Monahan’s version of not starting without him, huh?

“Shit,” he said again as he knelt down on the ground beside her and touched her fingers where they gripped one of the table legs. He shot a furious look over his shoulder to where the other man stood, his posture a mix of guilt and defiance.

“We had rules, mate. Get her unlocked. Now.”

Reaching around slowly, carefully, he undid the gag, ignoring Ian’s swearing as he fumbled with the keys. The woman flinched once, and then got it together, holding nice and still for him.

Which was about the time he realised who she was.

“Lisa?” he asked, incredulous.

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