Meet Maren Smith
Coming August 7th, the next long-awaited story in the new Masters of the Castle box set: Witness Protection Program.
Embracing Eden by Maren Smith
Intimacy was vulnerability, and vulnerable was something Grimsley would never be.
He was tall; she was tiny. He was neat, tidy, orderly; she was… not. His life was focus without deviation and relentlessly managed by the ticking of his pocket watch; she was chaos, from the curls of her unruly hair to her little bare feet, and if she got distracted and walked into him one more time, by God, he was going to bend her over the first sturdy piece of furniture he saw. For a man who shunned intimacy, getting Eden into his arms was fast becoming all he could think about.
They say opposites attract. When it came to Eden, attract was far too tame a word…
Crossing the room to his desk, he adjusted the long tails of his uniform and sat down on the front edge. Laying his switch across his thighs, he clasped it in both hands. “Come, Eden. Stand before me.”
Her head was bowed. She touched her hands to her face, but it wasn’t until she turned to obey him that he saw the watery glint in her eyes and realized she’d been crying.
Those were genuine tears.
Like the internal snap and twang of some great rubber band, Grimsley felt the reverberating hum of something—some dark and massive thing that had lain dormant within him for so long now that he could not readily identify it—awaken. A wave of prickling nerves rolled up his back, through his chest and down his arms into his fingers, abruptly stilling the restless way he kept gripping at the switch he held. He almost shivered. A lesser man might have, but all Grimsley did was watch as she crept in tiny steps to stand before him.
She kept her head bowed, as if she couldn’t bear the shame even to look at him. Sniffling, picking at the cuticle of one finger until it reddened, she was every inch of her the picture of remorse. Startled as he was by this, he was still wondering how much of this was genuine when she at last raised her head and asked, “Before you start yelling at me, can I say just one small thing first?”
Frowning, Grimsley tapped his thumb against his switch. Any Dominant who could not get his point across any way other than by raising his voice was, in his opinion, a poor excuse for a Dominant. “I don’t yell at anyone.”
“Before you get mad at me, then.”
He was already that, but he gestured for her to proceed.
She looked at him with those wide, blue eyes of hers, her face an open mask of such sadness and regret, and yet to have her suddenly clasp her hands and drop to her knees right there at his feet was the last thing he expected. Shocked as he was, he almost stood up, but that long-dormant thing inside of him reacted first. It seized him, locking into every tense and startled inch of him, holding him captive while she damn near burst into tears.
“I am so, so sorry!” Eden cried. “I know you won’t believe me, but I didn’t mean for any of this to happen! I’m not a nosy person; really, I’m not. I just wanted to apologize and see if we could start over. Because, you see, I want this job so badly. I’ve never wanted any job like I’ve wanted this one. If you could just please—”
“Hush,” he said, the softest command. It shook him like thunder.
Eden not only snapped her mouth shut, she covered it with both hands and dropped all the way to the floor to sit on her heels. She gazed up at him with great, tear-filled eyes. Grimsley stared back, every inch of him humming, damn near shaking.
He dared not trust himself to react. He could not remember when any woman had, of her own volition, prostrated herself before him. He couldn’t remember when anyone had clasped their hands to him and pleaded. His Maids usually ran one of two gambits—either they were service driven and never deliberately misbehaved, or they were mischief driven. A frown of displeasure was discipline enough for the former; demerits and the threat of having to service any Dom who asked in the Rainbow Room kept the latter in line. And although it wasn’t uncommon to hear pleading while he rolled up his sleeve and readied his switch, no one got down on their knees.
Not like this girl did, with her hands clasped and her blue eyes pleading and her bottom lip trembling in a way that sent zinging shocks straight through the core of him and down into his cock.
“Stand,” he ordered, rising now himself. He should put distance between them, but his feet rooted him where he was.
Unclasping her hands, she balanced herself before rising, and God help him if she didn’t look right at home with her face mere inches from his pelvis. She licked her lips—God. Help. Him—and stood.
“Look at me,” he said, when she didn’t right away.
There was no guile in her eyes. She was sad, worried, and genuinely seemed sorry. Studying her carefully, Grimsley slipped closer. He searched her face for the slightest tell-tale glimmer of excitement, eagerness, or lust, the slightest hint that she might be getting off on the idea of being in trouble.
There was none.
His cock tightened. He wanted to recoil, but his body wouldn’t let him, and when he at last managed to speak, he hardly recognized the hoarseness of his voice. “If you ever violate the rules of this household or embarrass me like that again, when next you enter my office you will do so with your panties in your hand. I promise, you won’t leave again without receiving one hell of a reason to cry. Do you understand me?”
Fortunate enough to live with my Daddy Dom, I am a Little, coffee whore, pain slut, administrator at my local BDSM dungeon, resident of the wilds of freakin’ Kansas (still don’t know how I ended up here) and submissive to the love of my life. An International and USA Bestselling Author, I have penned more than 120 novels, novellas and short stories, and am the author of the Masters of the Castle series.
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