Their virgin secretary, p.1
Their Virgin Secretary, p.1Part #6 of Masters of Ménage series by Shayla Black
Annabelle Wright sipped champagne and glanced at her best friend as she prepared for the “big day,” a deep sense of déjà vu settling over her. “Haven’t we done this before?”
At the last wedding Kinley Kohl had planned, she’d been kidnapped and whisked away to Alaska by three super-hot men. Luckily, they’d saved Kinley from her asshole of a fiancé who, it turned out, made his money by fencing blood diamonds and running other profitable scams while giving the FBI the finger. He also hadn’t minded a little murder just for fun. The trio of guys who had taken Kinley before her nuptials had eventually made her their own, so being abducted had worked out well for her.
Kinley grinned as she fluffed out the veil she’d selected. “Oh, we’ve been here before. Hopefully, this wedding won’t have the same drama as the last. Just in case, I tried to convince Dominic we needed extra security but he gave me that stare. You know, the Dom Dom stare.”
Belle couldn’t help but laugh. Dominic Anthony was part owner of Anthony Anders, one of the top security firms in the country. He was also a Dom in the D/s community. And yes, she’d seen that particular glare, the one meant to convey that Kinley better do what the Dom wanted—and quickly. Belle frequently glimpsed a very similar expression from Kellan Kent. When he turned his blue eyes on her, she ached to fall to her knees and fulfill his every demand. Unfortunately, that stare of Kellan’s usually wasn’t directed at her. “I think we’re safe this time.”
“Probably so,” Kinley agreed with a peaceful sigh. “Everyone who hates me is enjoying a nice long stay in prison. I heard Becks got shanked. She still managed to live though. Oh, well, maybe next time.”
Nearly being killed by her former fiancé and her sister had made Kinley a bit bloodthirsty. Belle couldn’t blame her. She’d wanted their blood and misery, too, after she’d learned just how close they’d come to ending her best friend. Months later, the thought still made her shiver. But before the happy ending, Belle’s first instinct had been to rush to Kinley’s side and help in any way she could. Kellan had forbidden her.
You’re not going anywhere, Belle. If you try, I’ll tie you up and spank your ass so hard you’ll never forget the feel of my hand on your skin. Eric, Tate, and I will handle this.
Even months later, his edict didn’t make sense. Unlike Eric and Tate, Kell almost never took her to lunch or showed more than a passing interest in her.
When she’d asked why she couldn’t help save her best friend from three abductors, he had frowned and turned away, heading for his computer. Because I won’t have you hurt, Belle. I’ll protect you. Even from myself.
She’d only thought she heard the last part since it had been muttered under his breath, but that moment had been a turning point. While Kellan thought that threatening her with a spanking was the worst thing he could do, Belle had been forced to face the truth: she didn’t want to spend her whole life not knowing what it felt like to have Kellan’s hands on her. Or Eric’s. Or Tate’s. But now it seemed like she would.
She forced the maudlin thoughts aside.
“Dallas has been good to you.” A bit of sorrow crept into her voice. Since Kinley had moved in with Dominic and the Anders brothers, Law and Riley, she hadn’t had a ton of time for her bestie. And now Kinley was pregnant. Though she wasn’t showing yet, Belle knew Kinley would soon be engrossed in all things baby. It didn’t help that she lived in Chicago and her position as Girl Friday at Baxter, Cohen, and Kent consumed all her time. Lately, she’d been thinking about changing that. She couldn’t imagine not being around for Kinley’s child.
Belle had simply thought she’d have one of her own by now. Or at least be planning to start her own family. But she wasn’t even close.
“I miss you,” Kinley said, pulling her in for a hug.
“I miss you, too,” Belle admitted, teary-eyed. She really couldn’t remember a time Kinley hadn’t been her best friend. Even when they had attended different colleges and began their careers a few hundred miles apart, they’d always had each other. Now everything between them was…different. “I’m getting tired of missing you. Maybe I should move closer.”
Kinley pulled back with a shake of her blond hair, her brows forming a concerned V. “Away from Chicago? Away from your men?”
Belle took another long sip of her cocktail and forced herself to swallow the bitter truth. “They aren’t mine, Kinley. They never will be.”
Kellan Kent, Eric Cohen, and Tate Baxter were gorgeous lawyers, but she worked for them. They were her bosses, not her lovers. Just because she harbored fantasies of them didn’t mean they’d ever feel the same. In fact, after a solid year of working together, not one of them had made a pass. Belle doubted now they ever would. Apparently, her place was behind a desk, not in their arms.
She would have been happy with any one of them. Then she’d discovered they preferred to share women. That knowledge had given her libido one hell of a boost. Yes, she’d been shocked at first, but after some consideration, it had made an odd kind of sense. The three of them had become an unusual sort of family, each relying on the others for balance. She couldn’t imagine one of them without the other two.
Sadly, while they shared women, they just didn’t seem inclined to share her. Or even to touch her. The ache that terrible truth caused had become too much to bear. Tonight was her last-ditch attempt. She didn’t know how to look better than this. If they weren’t attracted to her tonight, then it was definitely over.
Kinley frowned. “I don’t know about that. I see the way they watch you.”
She’d seen it, too. Or rather she thought she’d seen it. When Kinley had been in danger and they’d feared she would get pulled into it, all three men had gone into über-protective caveman mode. She’d felt their eyes on her. That had given her hope. But as soon as the trouble had blown over, they’d gone back to treating her like a coworker. Clearly, they didn’t want to lose a really efficient office assistant.
“You’re reading too much into it,” Belle insisted. “They’re lazy. They don’t want to have to hire someone else. You should see the intern they brought in. He’s some judge’s kid. He constantly says ‘dude’ and he likes his…ahem, herbal refreshments. I have no idea how that kid is going to get through law school.”
“Don’t change the subject. And stop fooling yourself.” Kinley crossed back over to the small veil, fluffing it out again. “Why don’t you talk to them and tell them what you need? Doms can’t read your mind.”
“I’m not in the lifestyle.”
Kinley submitted to her three Doms in the bedroom. Since starting down the path, she’d become very vocal about the communication aspect of D/s.
“Besides, that isn’t normal in vanilla dating. I should be able to pout like every other woman, then eat ice cream and play angry-girl music when I don’t get my way.”
“Brat.” Kinley winked at her. “But I see through your sarcasm. You’re completely interested in their dominance. And I know you like them.”
Like? She was pretty sure she was in love with them.
Kellan was the alpha male, all power and protection. He had everything under control and he always made her feel safe. Eric was the charmer, fit and funny and just really enjoyable to be around. She went to lunch or dinner with him often, and they talked about movies, sports, current events, and life. He was a sexy mix of athleticism and charisma. And then there was Tate. He believed he was the social outcast of the bunch, but Belle saw him as the brilliant nerd who’d turned into a smoking hottie. Half the time, she giggled at the outrageous things that came out of his mouth because he had no filter whatsoever. That also meant he tended to be the most honest. When he told her she looked beautiful, she believed him. The other half of the time she spent with him, he often floored her with his astonishing intelligence. His mind fascinated her as much as his body.
Apparently, all her feelings were one-sided.
“I don’t think that’s such a good idea, Kinley. They’ve had opportunities and passed them over. None of them are shy. If they were interested…I’d know it. Instead, I watch them date other women. It hurts.” She would only admit that to her best friend. The ache in her chest had become a real, physical thing. “I don’t think I can do it anymore. Seeing you so happy, knowing what life could be, I can’t stay here in limbo, hoping and waiting. I need to move on.”
Kinley took her hand, her fingers tangling with Belle’s. “Do you want me to throw mud pies at them? It worked on Tommy Harte.”
Belle laughed, remembering how Kinley had taken down the boy who’d made fun of her in fourth grade. But they weren’t children anymore, and revenge wouldn’t make those three lawyers love her. “It’s a sweet offer, but like I said, I’m thinking it’s time to move on. I’m not getting any younger.”
She was twenty-six and had barely been kissed.
Kinley squeezed her hand, her eyes widening. “Are you still…?”
“A virgin?” Belle frowned, trying not to be embarrassed.
She told herself she had no reason to be. Maybe it was weird to others. Most twenty-six year olds had a couple of lovers under their belt, but Belle was picky about everything. She’d once spent three months deciding on the right curtains to put over the tiny window in her bathroom. She wasn’t about to take a lover just to keep others from laughing at her. That part of her life—or lack thereof—wasn’t anyone’s business.
“Don’t you think I would have told you if I’d done the deed?” Belle asked. “Although I didn’t get a phone call from you until weeks after you’d slept with your guys.”
“I lost my virginity during a kidnapping. They took my phone or I swear I would have called you immediately.” Kinley made a cooing call. “Come on, Gigi.”
Kinley’s Yorkie yipped a little and jumped from her comfy spot in Kinley’s Prada tote. The dog tended to travel in whatever designer bag Kinley carried. The very pampered pooch stretched and yawned before jumping onto the ottoman and settling herself down. She didn’t make a move as Kinley placed the tiny veil on her head.
That was one well-trained dog.
The sound of yipping floated through the door as it opened and Dominic Anthony walked in. He looked urbane with his artfully mussed inky hair and perfectly tailored tux, but the effect was somewhat ruined by the three wriggling puppies in his arms.
“Kinley, sweetheart, you know I love you and I want you to have a great day, but I’m going to kill the puppies now. I’ll make it quick. They won’t feel a thing.”
“No, you won’t! Those sweet babies are proof of Gigi and Butch’s love.”
“They’re proof we should have gotten our damn dogs fixed. Number two pooped in my shoes. Three chewed up the curtains in the groom’s room, so we’re paying for that. And One ate a bar of soap, then yakked all over the place. Promise me our kids aren’t going to be this destructive.” He put the pups down and they immediately started darting all over the room, looking for mischief.
“No promises,” Kinley said with a saucy smile. “You’ve got about seven months before the chaos begins. I can promise you I won’t be having a litter, though. Just one for now. And I’ll make sure he doesn’t poop in your shoes. You know, it’s really a sign of affection. They like your smell.”
“Yeah? I don’t like theirs,” Dominic groused. “Now that they’re weaned, it’s time to find them happy homes.” Placing a gentle hand on Kinley’s stomach, he kissed her, then sighed. “And now I have to go clean my shoes. Damn it. Do not eat the flipping curtains again, Three. They’re expensive.”
As the puppy barked, Dominic shook his head and left.
Kinley and Gigi seemed utterly inured to the chaos around them. Belle watched as the pups continued exploring the room, nose first. “One, Two, and Three?”
“The guys won’t let me name them because they think I’ll want to keep them.” She petted her dog softly. “Gigi’s been fixed now so there won’t be any more little four-legged surprises. But I’m going to find these three the best homes ever.”
Belle hoped Kinley could work miracles. The poor little things wouldn’t find anyone willing to take them on looks alone. They were a weird mix of Yorkie and whatever the hell Dominic’s huge dog Butch was. In short, those were some fugly little pups.
But she had something in common with them. She was looking for a new home, too. Despite the fact that she’d settled into her Chicago apartment, somehow it just had never felt like home.
She thought again about the letter she’d received a month before. She’d been putting off addressing the issue because they’d had big cases to tackle at the firm. She couldn’t leave her bosses in a lurch. Then she’d been too tired, too battered by recent rains, too afraid to give up today when they might come around tomorrow. She’d found just about every excuse to not rock the boat.
But watching Kinley with her husbands made Belle certain this boat needed to be rocked. She’d tried to drop anchor in Chicago…but clearly it was time to float elsewhere.
“Doesn’t she make a beautiful bride?” Kinley held Gigi up and stared at her angular little canine face. The damn dog wore a wedding dress.
Belle loved Kinley, but sometimes, her bestie was completely insane. “Yep. Let’s get this show on the road. There’s an open bar at the other end of this wedding, right?”
Hopefully the reception wasn’t all kibble.
“Of course.” Kinley laughed. “I know a dog wedding is silly, but Dominic, Law, and Riley insisted on a quickie Vegas ceremony for us. They thought they could get out of a big party. Ha! I might be making an honest woman out of my Yorkie, but that reception is going to be all me. We’ve got a full bar, and those men will be dancing.”
Belle had to hand it to her friend. Kinley knew how to get her way. “Well, I’ll be there beside you.”
They finished getting ready and gathered the dogs. Belle couldn’t help but think that even the dog was getting married before her.
It was definitely time for a change.
* * * *
“We’re at a damn dog wedding. We flew down from Chicago to see two freaking canines bark out their vows. Please tell me someone else sees how illogical this is.” Tate Baxter shook his head as he looked at the happy “couple.”
Gigi and Butch were seated in places of honor at the elaborate reception, silver bowls in front of them. He often marveled at the crazy things people did for their pets. He’d never had one. Didn’t see the rationale. When he wanted company, he walked into Eric’s room. That had caused a few uncomfortable situations because he’d never seen any particular reason to knock first.
“It is,” Eric agreed.
Tate sat back in his chair at the table he shared with his two friends, still shaking his head. “I put off prepping for an important case tonight to come to this event.”
Well…sort of. The case was on his laptop, so he could just as easily do it on the plane ride home tomorrow, but that wasn’t the point. He certainly hadn’t come because he had any grand desire to see two dogs get hitched.
“Not exactly,” Eric corrected. “You came for the same reason I did. We want to be wherever the hell Belle is. But hey, it ended up being the most entertaining wedding I can remember. The groom tried to hump the bride in the middle of the ceremony. And right in front of their three illegitimate kids,” he joked. “And did you see that one of the puppies peed on the minister?”
Kellan set his beer on the pristine white tablecloth in front of him, shaking his head. “Don’t fool yourself. This shindig wasn’t about the dogs. Kinley is topping from the bottom in a big way. She wanted her grand wedding and this is how she got it. I would say she’s earned one hell of a spanking, but Dominic’s gone soft.”
Tate fought hard not to roll his eyes. Kellan was a hard-ass. He took the whole Dom thing way too seriously, if anyone asked him. Which they didn’t. And that was a mistake because he’d been smart enough to figure out that he liked to dominate a female sexually, but he needed a woman who took charge of him when he missed social cues or forgot to put on matching shoes—stuff like that. “Ease up. She’s pregnant. They’re being indulgent.”
Law Anders was out on the dance floor with his wife, swaying to the music and wearing a big smile as he rubbed himself against Kinley. Dance had been a mystery to Tate for years, until Eric had explained that it was really just an excuse for a guy to rub his penis all over a girl and not get slapped in the face. After that, Tate had totally seen the logic and understood why men bothered with dance. He really enjoyed it now.
As he glanced around, Tate looked for Belle, hoping for an opportunity to rub his penis all over her. Inside her would even be better. Whatever she’d allow.
One year, two months, and four days. Four hundred thirty days all totaled, but he hated to calculate their time together that way. It depressed him. Ten thousand three hundred twenty hours wasn’t much better, considering that was how long he’d gone without sex. Because that was how long it had been since he’d first laid eyes on Annabelle Wright. She’d walked into his office with her resume in hand, and he’d just stared, dumbstruck. He didn’t believe in love at first sight, but he’d found lust in that single glance. Oh, yeah. He’d taken one look at the goddess applying for a job and known exactly why he’d gone to the gym five times a week since he’d turned seventeen.
But love? He’d taken a whole week of consideration before deciding that he had fallen in love with Belle. After all, he was a careful man. He liked to think things through.
“Indulgence leads to chaos. Dominic is going to rue the day he let that sub run wild.” Kellan frowned at Kinley.
Tate just swiveled his gaze toward the dance floor. “Who is that?”
Their Virgin Secretary by Shayla Black / Romance & Love have rating 4.2 out of 5 / Based on42 votes