Authors: Jennifer Dunne
Possessing perfect pitch, a penchant for leather and a
predilection for gourmet cooking, Master Rikard is a sub’s dream.
After answering his compelling personal ad, Gayle begins a
relationship with the mysterious masked Dom. His hypnotic voice spins wicked
erotic fantasies as he takes her to sexual heights she’d never believed
possible, while glimpses of his tortured soul awaken her desire for more than
Their mutual love of music could be the beginning of much
more, but his tragic past presents a barrier. Then Gayle’s innocent discovery
forces them to face the truth.
Ellora’s Cave Romantica Publication
Must Love Music
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Must Love Music Copyright © 2005 Jennifer Dunne
Cover art by Syneca
Electronic book publication 2005
The terms Romantica® and Quickies® are registered trademarks of
Ellora’s Cave Publishing.
With the exception of quotes used in reviews, this book may not
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permission from the publisher, Ellora’s Cave Publishing, Inc.® 1056 Home
Avenue, Akron OH 44310-3502.
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This book is a work of fiction and any resemblance to persons,
living or dead, or places, events or locales is purely coincidental. The
characters are productions of the author’s imagination and used fictitiously.
To Sister Jane Theresa Murphy—you taught me how to make my
song take flight. Thank you. You’re surrounded by the music of God’s angels
now, but I still think of you every time I sing.
The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark
owners of the following wordmarks mentioned in this work of
Google: Google, Inc.
Let me help your spirit to sing. Leather-loving dominant
seeks submissive for scene play, potential relationship. Must love music. Reply
to voicemail box 665.
Gayle bought a newspaper along with her customary
strawberry-cream-cheese-covered bagel and grande chai, and unfolded it on the
spindly café table to peruse while she cooled down from her morning run.
Ignoring the news, she flipped immediately to the classifieds.
The Thursday paper was the Arts and Entertainment edition. A
special supplement listed all of the activities available for the weekend. More
importantly, it also listed all of the auditions for the coming week.
She’d been in this city for a month now, and had yet to form
any friendships with the people in the local branch office where she worked.
They were all either in sales or management, and had nothing in common with
her, their designated technical support person. Oh, they were polite and
friendly, in an impersonal way—especially the ones in sales. But it was like
she spoke a different language from them, or something.
So she was turning to her hobbies. She had a good voice, and
had enjoyed doing community theatre before her unpredictable work schedule had
forced her to give it up. Now that she had a standard work-week again, she
could connect with the local theatre scene. She’d be bound to find friends
there. Or, at any rate, find out where all the good bars, clubs and other hot
spots were in this city.
She ran her gaze down the column of auditions, looking for
musicals. The local opera company was casting bit parts for
the possibility of joining the company after the production ended.
Gayle shook her head. She was good, but not that good.
The high school honors theatre program was staging a
. Even if she got one of the adult parts, she’d be
surrounded by children. Hardly a likely source of friends to go clubbing with.
The Gilbert and Sullivan operetta was a possibility. A lot
of work to spit those patter songs out, but definitely for adults.
Then she spotted a notice for Sondheim’s
Into the Woods
Perfect! A challenging but not impossible score. A large enough cast to get to
know a bunch of people. She’d need to bring music to the audition. Next Tuesday
at 7:00 p.m.
She ripped out the audition notice, and tucked it into the
zippered pocket of her jogging set’s jacket.
Just having a plan already improved her spirits. Nibbling at
her bagel, she glanced at the section of the paper revealed by the missing
audition notice. The personals.
Smiling, she flipped the page and started to read the ads.
There was more than one way to find a friend in a new city. Maybe a new
boyfriend was what she should be looking for.
The first few ads were predictably from losers.
“‘Discreet afternoon fun’? He’s a married guy, looking for a
little on the side. ‘Not interested in head games, players, or women who can’t
commit’? That’s a guy who still has issues with his last girlfriend. ‘Single
father of three who do not live with him’? Sounds like a guy who can’t be
bothered to wear a condom.”
The rest were similarly mock-worthy, or sounded as dry and
uninteresting as an all-day meeting. Then she came to a new headline.
“Alternative lifestyle personals? What’s that?”
Her eyes widened at the first entry. “Skilled master seeks
slave for 24/7 D/s lifestyle. I’ll whip and beat you until you cry, then make
you beg for more.”
Gayle shook her head. She’d tried a little bondage with her
last boyfriend. It had been fun. Okay, more than fun, it had been a huge
turn-on for her. But that guy sounded more like a psychopath than a sexual
Her breath caught at the next ad.
“Let me help your spirit to sing. Leather-loving dominant
seeks submissive for scene play, potential relationship. Must love music.”
Heat pooled low in her groin, her panties growing damp as
the blood pulsed between her legs. She didn’t know why the words affected her
so deeply. But she knew she couldn’t let this opportunity get away from her.
Fingers trembling, she tore out the ad.
* * * * *
Later that morning, showered and dressed in a neatly
professional skirt and blouse, Gayle was still thinking about the ad while
working at her computer. She kicked off a database compaction, then leaned back
in her desk chair and stretched her arms high above her head. It would be
fifteen minutes at least before she could do the next task on her list.
A smile teased her lips. There was a voicemail box
associated with the ad. Fifteen minutes was plenty of time to call and leave a
She dug the ad out of her wallet and nervously dialed the
paper’s personals number, then carefully entered the extension at the prompt.
The system clicked, transferring her to the voicemail box she’d chosen. And
then the man who’d placed the ad spoke.
“Thank you for your interest in my ad,” he said, his rich
and resonant voice reaching through the phone line to wrap around her lungs and
squeeze. Her heart hammered. God, she could come just by listening to him talk.
His words slid across her skin like a velvet caress, and her body arched,
aching to bring him closer.
“Leave a message, and a way to reach you. If I like the
sound of your message, I’ll contact you.”
“No pressure,” Gayle muttered, her fingers tightening around
the handset. Instinctively, she straightened her back, lifting her head to
relax her throat and breathing deep into her diaphragm. This was just as much
an audition as the Sondheim production would be.
The phone beeped, cueing her message.
“Your ad intrigued me,” she began, pitching her voice to be
as clear and carrying as if she was onstage. “I love to sing, and tremble at
the thought of putting myself in your hands. If you would be interested in
making music with me, call me. My name is Gayle.”
Then she rattled off the phone number for the unassigned
extension in her office that she used to test the marketing team’s modems. It
had an old, analog phone plugged in to it. His would be the only incoming call
on that line.
She ate her lunch at her desk, mocking her own foolishness.
He probably wouldn’t even check his voicemail messages until the evening, when
he got home from work. And if he liked her message enough to call her, he’d
call back when she didn’t answer. But she couldn’t take the chance that he
wouldn’t. So she grabbed a microwavable bowl of macaroni and cheese from the
vending machines and a diet cola, her ears straining to hear the distinctive
ring of the analog phone.
She was completely absorbed in debugging a glitch with one
of the manager’s email accounts when the clanging bell of the phone startled
her. Taking a deep breath, she sat up straight and relaxed her throat, then
answered the phone.
“Hello, this is Gayle.”
“Hello, Gayle. This is Rikard. I got your response to my
A wave of warmth curled through her as his voice stroked and
caressed her. The soft, slightly husky tone welcomed her to an intimate
conversation, and suggested he might have been as moved by her response as she
was by his initial ad.
Or, she might be reading way too much into the whole thing,
and the poor man was getting over a cold.
She chuckled, half in nervousness and half at her own
overblown imagination. “So, I guess you liked the sound of it, since you called
“Yes, I did. Are you a musician?”
“Programmer. But I do some community theatre on the side.”
“Ah. I thought you sounded like you’d had training.”
“Sister Jane would be pleased to know some of her lessons
stuck. How about you? Are you a musician?”
He hesitated just a moment before saying, “Composer.”
“Really? What do you write?”
“A little of everything. Jazz. Pop songs. Jingles.”
“It pays the rent.” He laughed, the sound spearing to her
core as if he’d suddenly appeared in her office, thrown her onto her desk,
spread her legs and thrust deep inside her.
Gayle smothered a moan. Her breasts were tight and tingling,
aching for his fingers to squeeze the pebbled nipples, or for his hot mouth to
cover the tips and suck deeply. Her stomach quivered. And the flesh between her
legs pulsed with every heartbeat, wet and steaming, ready for his fingers, his
mouth, or his long, hard cock to push deep, again and again, until she screamed
her release. Or shrilled it over and over like a demented Mozart aria.
“If you’re a programmer, you’re probably at work.”
Gayle answered with an affirmative noise.
“I won’t keep you long, then. Would you like to get together
to talk more in person?”
“I’d love to,” she answered immediately. Then thoughts of
all the horror stories about blind dates prompted her to caution. “How about
Saturday? We could meet for lunch or coffee at the café on the corner of
Washington and Twelfth.”
“Coffee. Say, two o’clock?”
“Sounds great. How will I recognize you?”
“I’m tall, shoulder-length blond hair, and will be wearing
green sunglasses and a black leather jacket. You?”
“My hair’s dark brown, in a kind of pageboy, although my
stylist had a more expensive name for it. I’ll probably be wearing a denim barn
jacket with black velvet trim.”
“Sounds like you’re very sensual.”
“Wait until Saturday, and you can see for yourself.”
He chuckled, a dark rumble of sound that wasn’t quite as
intense as his earlier laugh had been—more like he was leaning over her for
some intense French kissing, while his hand fondled beneath her skirt.
“I’ll count the hours.”
After he hung up, Gayle remained clutching the handset, panting
for breath, while her clit throbbed, begging for his touch. If he was half as
scrumptious in person as he sounded over the phone, she was a goner. She hung
up, and furtively pinched her nipples. The sharp pain triggered a wave of heat
that rolled over her. It wasn’t as good as an orgasm, but it was some relief.
She’d treat herself to a long, hot bubble bath tonight when
she got home, soaping herself all over and pretending it was Rikard’s hands
sliding over her slick skin, imagining Rikard’s mouth on hers, dreaming of his
cock thrusting in and out, harder and faster, until she came beneath him in a
sobbing, screaming rush.
She groaned, already aching and swollen with desire. It was
going to be a long afternoon.
* * * * *
Saturday afternoon, Gayle abandoned the pile of rejected
clothes on her bed, and headed for her date wearing a chic black leather
miniskirt and pink angora sweater under her denim coat. After all, Rikard’s ad
said he liked leather. And she recalled reading somewhere that pink was a good
color to wear to a first date, because it sent signals saying you were gentle
and feminine. Fuzzy textures implied you were soft and invited thoughts of
Plus, she knew pink looked good with her skin tone. She’d
actually bothered with full makeup, as if she was going to a customer site,
instead of just her usual tinted moisturizer and lip gloss, and knew she looked
Her cell phone was tucked into her black and pink purse,
with her friend Carrie on the speed dial. Carrie was more than willing to act
as her safety net for the date, provided she got all the juicy details in
As the blocks melted away beneath Gayle’s determined stride,
the nervous quiver in her stomach grew progressively stronger. What if he was a
complete troll? Or had some odious personal habit? What if he was drop-dead
gorgeous, with the elegant and sophisticated manners of a James Bond? She took
a deep breath, straightened her spine, and forced herself to smile cheerily.
Just another audition.
She turned the corner to the café three minutes before two
o’clock. A tall, blond man in a fitted black leather jacket was bending his
head to talk to the hostess. Was that him?
He straightened and turned to scan the tables on the
sidewalk, revealing his rectangular sunglasses of pale green, and a strong
profile of high cheekbones, firm jaw, and well-shaped nose. His blond hair was
artfully styled to give a rumpled, just out of bed look, falling across his
forehead in graceful arcs, covering his ears and brushing his neck and shoulders.
Gayle hurried up to the hostess stand. “Rikard?”
He smiled, his gaze flicking down and up her body, lingering
for just a moment on her leather skirt. “Gayle.”
A shiver rippled across her skin at the sound of her name
being said in his rich voice. The false sexual purr of the hostess startled her
out of her reverie.
“This way, please.”
She followed the hostess’ swinging hips, the woman working
her clinging Hawaiian print silk sarong to full effect. Gayle was aware of
Rikard’s presence behind her, and casually shrugged off her barn coat while she
walked. She was rewarded with a soft intake of breath, and felt the heat of his
gaze on her formfitting fuzzy sweater. Oddly, the hostess’s blatant attempt to
hijack his attention made Gayle feel better. She wasn’t the only one to fall
under the spell of Rikard’s voice.
When they reached the table, Rikard held out a chair for
her, giving her the better seat, with a view overlooking the sidewalk. He took
the facing chair, looking back at the café.
The hostess handed them their menus, lingered a moment
longer, then returned to her station. Rikard and Gayle stared at each other in
silence, then both began speaking.
“So, what do you—?”
“Is this your first—?”
They both broke off, chuckling, and any lingering
“You first,” he offered, gesturing her on with one gloved
He wore black leather driving gloves, the supple leather
clinging to his hands like a second skin. Gayle’s heart sped up as she pictured
those gloved fingers stroking her body, circling gently around her ear,
slipping along the edge of her jaw, and finally dipping down to fondle and
caress her breasts.