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**Best BDSM/Kink Book
Firstborn by J. Hali Steele (Changeling Press)
And for your enjoyment, a short, short, tiny piece (1,500) I wrote for a contest, didn’t win but there will be another time! J Giving you first half and hope you’ll come back tomorrow for the end.
Life doesn’t wait while you decide which path to take; sit at the crossroads too long—something will run over your ass. Little Merrick had read that somewhere. Clutching an envelope while standing in front of his mailbox, he recalled his latest job with distaste.
Two weeks ago, Lit had surreptitiously entered Trésor and the moment he laid eyes on his quarry, he realized everything would go to hell. He was even more conscious of that fact when, a few days afterward, he decided to meet his target face-to-face. Faye Warren had short, dark blonde hair, and hazel eyes more green than brown perused him head to toe as he approached the bar. Taking a seat at the end, he gave her the once over as a sinking feeling filled his gut. There was more here than met the eye otherwise Governor Martin Shaw would have used his own people instead of hiring him.
“What can I get for you?”
The soft raspy sound of her voice brought parts of Lit to life that hadn’t awakened in a decade. “Lager, bottle, no glass.”
Returning, Faye placed a cold beer in front of him. “Tough day?”
“No.” He studied the woman wondering if her sun kissed skin was as warm as it looked. “Why do you ask?”
“You growled.” She laughed lightly and well-knotted strings around his heart began to fray when she leaned forward and whispered conspiratorially, “I won’t turn you in to animal control.”
The unraveling began in earnest. “What if I bite?”
“I bite back.” Tilting her head, she grinned. “I’m Faye.”
“Welcome to Trésor, Lit.”
“You welcome all the patrons this way?”
“I like the way you look.” Faye’s lips curved invitingly before she moved away to wait on a newcomer.
Lit finished his beer and left.
With a reputation as an investigator who operated on a need-to-know basis, he asked no questions, Lit accepted a job, finished it, and received payment. He was highly compensated for discretion and the less he knew the better. He spent the next few nights in the shadows at Trésor before driving two hours to the state capitol to give a brief report. Directed to a private office in the mansion, Lit took a seat and waited.
The governor possessed a heavy tread for such a slight man. “Well, Merrick?”
“She always goes home alone.” An extremely nice home shared with her mother, the owner of Trésor. That tidbit of information was a matter of public record. “She’s not seeing anyone.”
“Keep her under observation a few more days.”
Lit stood. “That’s another five grand.” His services didn’t come cheap. Striding to the door, he spun to face the man who remained at the desk with his head buried in his hands. “Mail it.”
˜ ˜ ˜
Eddystone was a small town containing one motel, and working in the only nice restaurant and bar for miles, Faye knew everyone. She hoped the tall, broad shouldered stranger with piercing blue eyes, buzz cut brown hair, and a gruff voice would return. Faye got her wish while subbing on bar duty for a sick employee. She grabbed a cold beer and made her way down the counter waiting on one customer before she reached the man. “Welcome back, Lit. Lager, bottle, and no glass, right?”
“You remember what everyone drinks?”
“Only those I like.” Air around Faye sizzled when their fingers brushed as she passed him the beer.
“Worked here long?”
Faye had received her degree in accounting before returning to assist in running the restaurant. She kept books as well as bartended in a pinch and, frankly, she enjoyed that part of the job more than pouring through mundane paperwork. “I’m the manager.” Lifting his beer to place a coaster beneath the bottle, she added, “Trésor is family owned.”
The kitchen door swung open and closed with a swish behind the evening bartender. “An endearment my father used.” Before Lit asked more questions, she blurted, “Stay for dinner, my replacement just arrived.” Not likely Lit would be a regular who’d complicate her life. “Where are you from?”
“Is your father dead?”
“Why would you think that?” She wiped the bar top.
“You said used, I thought maybe...”
She did. “Don’t know, I never knew him.” She’d become as adept at brushing aside questions about her father as her mother was. It didn’t bother Faye in the same way it did when she was younger. “Dinner?”
Retrieving a menu, she opened it in front of him. “The chef is quite good.”
“A thick steak, rare.”
“I’ll be right back.” Faye instructed a passing server to prepare a quiet table, and after placing an order for two porterhouses with salads, she escaped to her office to check her hair and refresh her makeup. She returned to the dining area and took a seat across from Lit. Faye asked again, “Where you from?”
“Staying at the motel or making the two hour drive?”
“Motel. I’m finishing up some business.” Their food arrived and they ate in silence until Lit commented, “Your chef is better than good.”
“I’ll let her know.”
The man didn’t seem to be aware of the sex appeal he exuded. When he smiled, Faye made her mind up to do this every night until he was gone. “Tomorrow’s special is chicken pot pie.”
“With a flaky crust?”
“I’ll be here.”
Growl and roar-it’s okay to let the beast out.