Authors: Vanessa Fewings
An Enthrall Novella
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Copyright © 2015 Vanessa Fewings
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever, including Internet usage, without written permission from the author.
This story is a work of fiction. References to real people, events, establishments, organizations, or locales are intended only to provide a sense of authenticity and are used fictitiously. All other characters, and all incidents and dialogue are drawn from the author’s imagination and are not to be construed as real.
Cover design by VMK
Cover photo is by Alexxxey from Shutterstock
Book formatted and edited by Louise Bohmer:
Paperback ISBN: 78-0-9912046-5-6
Ebook ISBN: 978-0-9912046-3-2
To all my readers, thank you for sharing in this journey.
There are fires, vast and endless, that burn in me for you, and I will carry them until you are ready to walk through the flames of me.
William C. Hannan
Only now did I understand its true torment.
I’d personally become acquainted with the misery of an impossible conquest.
These endless laps in this ice-cold ocean failed to provide my usual clarity, because all thoughts led back to
She’d bypassed my defenses. I both loved and cursed her existence for shaking the foundation of my BDSM empire that I rule with a firm and steady hand. My ability to master every moment and everyone around me had been compromised.
The ocean swelled and lifted me, carrying me out farther.
Powering on, slicing through with each breaststroke, my Malibu beach house grew ever more distant. This current called for a certain focus. A practiced discipline. A precise breath control.
Back in my head, like a forbidden temptation.
Yet she remained innocent in all this. Having seduced her into our world and delivered her to my best friend and business partner Richard Booth, I truly believed I’d implemented my usual genius. I’d presented her as the ultimate prize.
The plan had been simple enough: find a compatible candidate, study the subject, methodically analyze her every behavior, influence her motivations and manipulate them to dovetail my own, place her under a psychological microscope until her every action could be predicted and my desired outcome guaranteed.
Richard’s life had hung in the balance due to his reckless daredevil stunts that included climbing skyscrapers in order to leap off them, and when that no longer got his rocks off, diving into shark infested waters for fun.
I had to ground the bastard.
Provide a distraction. The love of a woman.
Pure. Innocent. Malleable.
A stunning twenty-one-year-old—the perfect prescription.
I’d effortlessly drawn upon my critical ability to comprehend the psyche of our subject, the sweet and innocent Mia Lauren, who was presented as ideal. I’d chosen her from a slew of potentials and plucked her out of the mundane. She held a timidity that was easily enhanced by her ravishing beauty, and a femininity that left men swooning around her. A flawless representation of the sacred feminine.
Her desire to please was a perfect trait for a submissive.
Harsh, perhaps, but the alternative for Richard was unimaginable. He was going to fucking kill himself.
The objective to find the right applicant had gone…swimmingly. Right up until the point
fallen for her. All I had to do was train her. Break her. Prime her. Ready her.
But she’d trapped me instead.
My once ironclad will was tossed into disarray.
I’d broken the one true rule and fallen for the submissive I was training for someone else.
I was fourteen years older than her, yet her feistiness threw me off guard. Her relentless strength, her presence, stirred a primal desire to possess her.
I had to get a grip.
Pushing harder, I fought the rolling waves coming at me.
If I kept this pace up, my energy would fade several miles out and, if caught in a riptide, I’d be screwed. When that realization hit me, I began the swim back to shore.
” her tone breeched my defenses. “
I am yours
.” Her words reached me like no other submissive before her.
And like the idiot I was, I’d insisted on delving deeper into her mind, exploring this young woman from a troubled past to better understand my own feelings, try to comprehend why her.
If I wasn’t going to destroy my closest friend Richard by stealing her away, I’d have to put this behind me. And fast.
I hoped I’d survive her not becoming mine. A raw truth that stabbed me with the consequences of my actions.
My escape plan to the other side of the world had been sabotaged. My newly fueled jet had been scheduled for takeoff from Santa Monica Airport a few hours ago. My destination, France.
My plane didn’t leave the runway. Paris had been derailed by the remarkable circumstances of my reunion with Henry, my older brother. My guilt and pain over what I once believed I’d put Henry through dissipated. His perspective ironically clashed with mine. I’d believed I’d destroyed him back in Afghanistan during a debriefing that had gone terribly wrong.
This morning, Henry had convinced me just how wrong I’d been. After too many years between us ruined by misunderstandings and painful mistruths, we’d spent precious time reuniting. This had been due to Mia’s meddling in my personal affairs. Henry was back in my life again. My reclusive older brother, whose war torn scars were the kind reflected in his eyes. The consequences of Mia’s visit with Henry had ensured a family’s reconciliation and old wounds healed. Yet another life Mia had saved and I’d scolded her for it.
My arrogance once again served as a reminder I didn’t deserve her.
I tried to think of anything but her…
My mind filled in the abyss of loss, projecting the vision of a haunting beauty vacillating beneath the morning sun.
Blinking off droplets to see better, my feet found the sand and I waded toward the beach.
Waves crashed around me as I wiped ocean from my eyes.
Mia ran toward me, splashing through the water.
My gaze swept the sand, searching for Richard and questioning why he’d brought her here. To soothe? Taunt? He was like a brother to me, but he was infuriating when it came to matters of the heart.
Mia came closer, standing waist deep in water, breathless. Her blonde locks windswept, her face flushed, and her blue eyes full of hope.
Back at Enthrall, one of my dominatrixes had told me Mia reminded her of a painting by William-Adolphe Bouguereau; an impossible beauty. I’d prided myself on such a remarkable find and not once suspected I too would become enraptured.
Had an argument with Richard sent her back to where it began? This condo, her once safe refuge.
“Richard?” I broke my gaze from hers.
“He doesn’t want me anymore.”
Her words blurred the lines of possibilities.
Something about her failing as his submissive, something about him sending her away. Something about them being over.
The truth spilled, emphasizing my inability to take Mia where she’d needed to go. My attempt to tame her was unsuccessful. Her feistiness became an unpredictable complication. I’d fallen short of my objective.
“I disagree,” I said. “You just require the appropriate handling.” That made me grin.
She scrunched up her dress as though her drenched hem could be undone.
“You’re here?” she said. “Not France?”
That diamond bracelet was back on her wrist. The delicate piece I’d placed there way back when I’d allowed myself the luxury of loving that which I couldn’t have.
She raised her hand. “What’s engraved on it?”
Had Richard really let her go?
I failed to understand how anyone would ever willingly let Mia go without a fight.
“The jeweler told Richard there’s writing on it. Only he didn’t tell me what.”
An engraving naked to the human eye.
My thoughts bounced back to Richard’s latest text. Vague words about what I deserved, that happiness was my right too, and I had to trust him and follow through on his wishes.
Surely he’d realize his mistake and come back for her? My focus settled on the horizon.
“Please tell me,” she said.
I feigned nonchalance. “It says ‘I will always love you.’”
A sob caught in her throat and she teetered forwards.
It was heart-wrenching to see her like this.
“Say it. Say the words.”
“I just did, Mia.”
“No, say it to me like you’re not reading it off my bracelet.”
Bury these feelings. You have no right to her.
“Technically it’s my bracelet.” Another shrug. “As it’s on your wrist.”