Authors: J.A. Bailey
By J.A. Bailey
2013 ©J.A. Bailey
rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner
whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embodied
in critical articles and reviews.
a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the
author’s imagination or are used fictitiously and are not to be construed as
real. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organisations, or persons,
living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
Sold to Santa
adjusted her little fur trimmed green skirt and drew in a shaky breath. God,
was she really going to go through with this? One of the performers, Grace,
patted her arm and gave her a grin.
worry, Belle. It’s only a date. It’s not like you’re selling your body!”
the dark-haired woman in a short leather dress. “I know but I’m only a
waitress. I don’t know the first thing about dating billionaires!”
hot and you’re intelligent. You don’t need to know anything. It’s all for a
lucky, you managed to get out of it now you’re engaged.”
flushed. “Yeah, well let’s just say Jett wouldn’t have been too impressed if I
sold myself to another guy.”
giggled. Jett had that whole dark, menacing thing going on and she imagined no
one would want to cross him. There’d been rumours that he was a real sadist in
bed but Grace had told her he was an amazing Dom. Of course, the fact that he
saved Grace’s daughter from being kidnapped changed everyone’s opinion of him.
Now Jett and Grace were engaged and from what Belle could see, deeply in love.
glanced down at her little elf costume. Striped stockings and a tiny top green
top, also trimmed in fur, completed the outfit. She adjusted her hat, peered
from behind the curtain onto the stage and grimaced. “I’m really not sure I can
you’ve not been on a date the entire time you’ve worked at SinSity. What is
there not to like about being wined and dined by a sexy, rich man?”
inwardly, Belle bent to adjust her stockings. Grace was right. Belle had barely
dated since she’d started working at London’s most prestigious BDSM club. Her
careful balance of college and working meant she had no time to spare at all,
but at twenty-five, she was in danger of becoming a recluse. The only person
she spent time with these days, outside of work, was her flatmate.
being ‘sold’ to someone in a charity auction was not her idea of fun. The rich
clients of SinSity were heavily vetted so she had no fears and the rules were
strict. No one—not even the performers—were expected to sleep with the bidders.
However, she still didn’t fancy going on a date with a stranger.
one of the performers had called in sick at the last minute and Belle, with her
curvy figure and long, auburn hair, had happened to fit—and suit—the sexy elf
costume perfectly. So now she was about to be sold to a stranger…
in the distance, Belle heard her name being called.
hissed Grace. “And smile. You look amazing. They’ll be fighting over you.”
grimaced. She wasn’t so sure. The costume was pretty flattering to her huge
breasts and curved arse but sometime she felt a little
loved her breasts—more than they loved her—and it made her self-conscious. She
did a great job of covering it up by being outgoing, but it still frustrated
her that no one seemed to know the real her. Only her flatmate knew she could
be quite shy and intellectual. Most people thought of her as the fun, silly
girl with a great rack.
straight, she strode onto the stage, doing her best not to stumble in the heels
that were slightly too big for her. The glare of the stage lights made her wince
but it meant she couldn’t see most of the crowd of rich men taking up the
tables in front of it. Thank God.
straight ahead, she remembered to smile and propped a hand on her hip as Lilly,
the supervisor and auctioneer for the night, announced her from her position on
one side of the stage.
have the sexy, scrumptious, Belle. Normally found with her head in her books,
we’ve brought her out especially for you lucky men. You won’t find a more
beautiful redhead to have on your arm this Christmas. Shall we start the
bidding at one thousand pounds?”
threatened to rise in her throat as Belle waited for the first bid. What if no
one wanted her? Could there be anything more humiliating than being dressed up
like a damn sexy elf, put on stage and then ignored?
suddenly, someone shouted, “A thousand pounds.”
let out a breath but couldn’t see where the shout came from. She knew a lot of
the clients by name, having worked at the club for two years now. Some were
kind and friendly, some not so much. None would mistreat her but a lot of
business men, in her experience, expected you to be at their beck and call.
They were so used to having everything their way—and at their pace—that they
were confused by anyone who might rebel against that. And Belle couldn’t help
but feel a little rebellious at times. It was how she was. If someone pushed
her one way, she pushed the other. It wasn’t a great trait in a waitress, but
she was well liked and always put in extra hours so it hadn’t got her in trouble
surprise another voice rang out. “Two thousand.”
darted her gaze around in surprise. Just out of the glare of the lights, a guy in
a large Santa suit had bid. She cringed inside. She didn’t know who it was, but
he had a huge belly—easily big enough to play Santa—and who knew what the bushy
beard hid? The guy could be anyone.
thousand,” another bid came and Belle had to fight to keep the astonishment
from her face. Who would want to pay ten thousand for her?
thousand.” It was the first guy.
thousand.” Santa again.
two went back and forth, and Belle kept swinging her gaze from the dark spot,
where the first voice came from and the guy in the Santa outfit. When the
bidding reached fifty thousand, she thought she’d pass out. It slowed then and
she assumed Santa had bowed out, until he shouted, “One hundred thousand!”
juddered underneath her and she held her breath to wait for the other bidder’s
response. The room fell totally silent. All she could hear was her heart
pounding in her chest.
more bids? No? The sexy Belle is going to be sold to Santa Claus for one
hundred thousand pounds! And I think we can all agree, she’s worth everything
penny!” Lilly declared. “Going once, going twice…. Sold to Santa!”
straightened her red dress one more time and sucked in a deep breath. She
peeled open the note she’d been handed after the auction, skimmed over the
scrawled writing for the billionth time and nodded to herself. This was the
restaurant that was at the forefront of one of the newest trends—eating in the
dark. She shuddered. Why on Earth would anyone want to eat in the dark? Maybe
Santa Claus was hideous. Maybe that was why he’d sent her a note instead of
meeting her like all the other bidders. All it said was for her to meet him
here and that was pretty much it.
down at her dress again, she scrunched up the letter and stuffed it into her
handbag. What did it matter what she looked like if she was going to be eating
in the dark? She only hoped she didn’t spill all her dinner down herself. And
she wished she could have asked her flatmate’s opinion. He’d been out all day
but normally she trusted him with her life. He wasn’t the most fashion-forward
of men but he’d always tell her if she looked terrible.
the restaurant, Belle approached the desk and smiled at the receptionist, an attractive
middle-aged woman with slightly too much make up and black hair. “Hi, I’m here
to meet a…uh…” her cheeks warmed—she couldn’t believe she was going to say
this, “Mr. S. Nicholas. My name is Belle Winters.”
woman skimmed a finger down the book in front of her. “Ah, yes. Mr. Nicholas
said he was expecting a guest. What meal will you be having? We offer four
it all going to be a surprise if I’m eating in the dark?”
yes, but it all depends how surprised you want to be.” The woman’s eyes
glittered with amusement.
I’ll have the chef’s surprise. Might as well go all in, right?”
as well,” the receptionist agreed, grin widening. “Okay, so here’s how this
works. You’ll go into the bar and be asked to hand over your phone, lighter or
anything that has a light. We’ve got secure lockers for you to put your phone
in. Normally you could stop to have a drink but seeing as your…uh…date is already
in the dining room, you’ll be taken straight through by our guide.”
Got it. Thanks.”
way then.” The woman pulled back the curtain behind her and ushered her
through, signalling to a waitress as she did so. “Please take Ms. Winters to
young waitress nodded and motioned for Belle to follow her past the modern bar.
Several well-dressed diners sat on clear plastic stools. Obviously
weren’t worried about soiling their clothes. But they were probably less clumsy
waitress turned to her. “My name is Ali. If you need anything, you only need to
call my name. If I could just take your coat, phone and handbag…” Belle handed
them all over and watched as Ali placed them in a locker behind the bar before
coming to stand in front of her once more. “Please put your hand on my
shoulder, Ms. Winters, and only follow me. We ask that you don’t move out of
your chair in the dining room.”
okay.” Belle placed her hand on the waitress’s shoulder and shadowed her steps
as she led her through a curtain into a dim corridor, then through a door.
Complete darkness swallowed her.
waitress giggled. “Please just follow me. You will find your eyes won’t adjust
but it will completely add to the experience,” she assured and then stopped.
“Okay, here is your seat. Just put your left hand out.”
did as she was told and curled it around the back of what had to be a chair.
Her eyes felt ridiculously wide and her heart hammered. People chatted and
cutlery scraped against porcelain but her date had remained silent. She knew he
couldn’t see her but she still felt self-conscious.
waitress guided her onto the chair and she sat gingerly, feeling for the table
will be with you soon. There’s a glass of wine just in front of you. Enjoy!”
fumbled for her wine and took a large, shaky gulp.
glad you made it, Belle,” a gruff voice came across the table.
coughed and spluttered. Even though she knew he was there, he still startled
her. She coughed again to remove the white wine lodged in her throat. “Ah… yes,
of course. Nice to…uh… meet you, Mr… uh…”
laughed. “Call me Nicholas.”
name really Nicholas?”
name really Belle?” he countered.
Nicholas,” the gruff voice confirmed.
Nick then? My flatmate is Nick.”
is a beautiful name. It means, beauty doesn’t it?”
it feel like her date has just skirted her question? Had she offended him by
trying to shorten his name? Belle shrugged. “I suppose. My mother spent a lot
of time in France so I think she got it from there. Of course, everyone thinks
film where they hear it. Drives me crazy.” She was
waffling but it was so alien, sitting opposite a stranger—who had paid a
fortune to be with her—in the pitch dark.
you match up to your name, Belle, but I guess I can understand that having an
unusual name isn’t easy when you’re young.”
another smaller sip of wine, feeling the warmth begin to relax her. Maybe this
evening wouldn’t be so bad? He seemed keen to make conversation. How old was
he? His voice sounded kind of ancient. But then as long as he was good company,
what did it matter?
wasn’t much fun, I’ll admit, but I’m okay with it now. Most people think it’s
cool to have an unusual name nowadays.” She circled her wine glass with her
finger. “So…um…” God, she just had to ask. “How come you bid so much for a date
it obvious?” He chuckled again and for some reason it made her stomach twist.
It reminded her of something but she wasn’t sure what. Somehow it made her feel
beautiful, Belle, but I also knew you’d make wonderful company.”
fingertips brushed hers and left. She jolted at the unexpected touch, but a
stab of disappointment actually struck her that he hadn’t held onto her hand
longer. Which was crazy. She didn’t even know the guy!
she smiled, even though he wouldn’t be able to see it. “How do you know I’m
you better than you think,” he answered cryptically.