The Businessman's Tie (The Power to Please, Book 1)

BOOK: The Businessman's Tie (The Power to Please, Book 1)
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The Businessman’s Tie

The Power to Please, Book 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

Deena Ward

 

 

 

Book Description

Book One of “The
Power to Please,” a dark and sensual series about shattering loss and redeeming
love

 

Who knows where
one night of passion might lead?

 

Recently-divorced
Nonnie Crawford craves a new beginning — it arrives in the form of an
enigmatic, dark-eyed stranger she dubs The Businessman. He seduces her with a
sizzling introduction to the thrill of sexual submission.

 

As the days pass,
she can’t forget him or how he made her feel. She seeks him out, her search
leading to a BDSM club where she meets Michael Weston, a charming playboy who’s
keen to seize the reins left dangling by the absent Businessman.

 

Nonnie wanted her
life to change, and now it’s changing in ways she never imagined.

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 1

 

The first time I saw him, when he looked back at me, a
thrill of energy blazed through every nerve in my body. It was a tingling
flash, gone in an instant, leaving me hyper-aware of his presence, and every
detail I could detect across a dim, crowded room.

He stood by the bar, one arm resting on the polished
surface, his shirt collar open under his jacket in a casual way, putting me in
mind of a businessman relaxing on his way home from work. Was his tie in his
car? I felt sure he was wearing a tie before he decided to stop for a drink.

His dark hair was brushed back from a wide and manly
forehead. I couldn’t tell the exact color of his eyes. Dark. I was sure his
eyes were dark.

He had a fine Roman nose and a clean-shaven square jaw.
Classically handsome, he would be called. He was tall, powerful-looking and
muscular, though not in a bulky way. Something about him seemed familiar. Had I
met him before? No. I would remember meeting this man.

There was no telling what he did for a living, but his
appearance suggested a professional of some sort. I also couldn’t be sure of
his age, and guessed he was approaching forty.

But guessing certain details wasn’t important at that time.
There was only one thing I truly wanted to know.

When he looked back at me, at that first moment when our gazes
met, did he experience the same jolt of connection as I?

Nothing in his demeanor suggested he felt anything at all.
He simply stood there and looked back at me, not in a blank way, but in a
thinking, contained way. If his nerves were jangled like mine, he didn’t show
it.

And then, too soon, the tingles and questions were ruined,
obliterated by my friend, Sherry, who half-yelled in my ear, “See something you
like?”

I blinked. Something I like? I turned to my friend. And just
like that, the moment when I first saw The Businessman was over.

I played it light. “And what if I have?”

She raised her glass to me. “Good for you!” She called to
our two other friends, her loud voice easily carrying over the blaring music.
“Attention, ladies! Our freshly-minted divorcee here is officially ready to
move on. She’s spied a candidate for some single-time-to-mingle action. Raise
your drinks!”

They laughed. We clinked glasses, and I played along with
their ribbing since it was why we were here — to celebrate my divorce. Toast to
a fresh start. Why the hell not.

They teased me about the hot men I could have with a free
conscience, but I couldn’t focus on what they said. They trashed my ex,
declared him a loser and me a lucky lady to be through with him, my future wide
open, etc., etc. Basically, it was everything we’d been saying since my husband
and I split nine months earlier. The only difference now was that the split was
official. I signed the papers that morning.

This chatter about my circumstances and about my ex-husband,
we had hashed and rehashed so often I could have recited what everyone said
before they actually said it. Normally, I enjoyed shredding my ex-husband’s
character, or lack thereof. But not tonight. Tonight I experienced something
new. Instant attraction. With a stranger in a bar. How odd ... and thrilling.

I couldn’t pay much attention to my friends because it took
the majority of my mental effort to keep from searching out The Businessman, as
I thought of him now, to verify he still stood by the bar. Finally, I gave in
and looked his way, only a furtive glimpse so I could quickly look away should
he catch me searching for him.

Ah, there he was, still standing where I last saw him, but
he wasn’t looking my way. He was talking to someone, an older man.

My friend Jackie poked me in the arm. “Hey! We’ve called
your ex enough names for one night. Why don’t you get on over there to Mr. Sexy
and stake your claim.”

I only smiled.

“I’m just saying, if you don’t do it, one of these young
blondies trolling around here will beat you to it.”

I shrugged. “If he wants young blondes, he’s welcome to
them.”

My friends laughed at me. They always knew when I was full
of shit.

“Go on,” said Sherry. “Go say hi. He won’t bite.”

“Or maybe he will,” said Gail.

Jackie waggled an eyebrow. “I can tell he’s got a taste for
fresh hot divorcees on the prowl.”

They continued in this fashion, fully enjoying themselves,
until I couldn’t take it anymore and escaped with the classic line of “I’ve got
to use the restroom.”

They didn’t buy it, but the restroom excuse is sacred, and
there was nothing they could do but heckle my back as I fled into the crowd.

I had to walk by The Businessman to reach the restroom and I
couldn’t resist, on my way, trying to catch his eye. He did glance my way as I
passed, but not at my face. He gave my body a quick and intimate once-over.
Feet to chest, and there he stopped.

I should have been insulted, but I wasn’t. Maybe it was
because I’d had three stiff drinks. Most likely, it was because I hoped he
liked what he saw. If he’d been some smelly jerk lingering on a street corner,
my reaction would have been a biting, vocal opposite.

By the time I reached the hallway that led to the bathrooms,
my face was hot from embarrassment. I spent several minutes in the ladies room,
standing at the lavatory getting myself together, reminding myself what I was
doing. I was having fun, that was all. I remembered how to have fun, didn’t I?
Oh, hell, who knew.

Did I ever have fun, even before my marriage? Regardless,
now was the time to start.

I told myself that, as soon as I left the restroom, I would
introduce myself to The Businessman. I would do it. I would. Go girl.

I checked myself one last time in the mirror before I
charged into my mission. Look out, sexy stranger, I thought. Here comes a woman
with a plan. I pulled the door open.

But I didn’t get the chance to put that plan into action.

The Businessman stood in the hallway.

He leaned against the paneled wall, his arms crossed
casually. Up close like this, he was taller than I thought he’d be. He was
powerfully built, solid under his suit jacket and open-collared shirt. He had
sexy, half-lidded eyes as he gave me another once over, then met my gaze.

That strange energy thrummed through me, similar to the one
before. My brain seemed to stop working, as if I could only experience the
world through this sensation, this sensual connection that coiled between me
and The Businessman.

No, that’s not right. To be fair, my brain still worked. I
simply ignored it. My brain told me to get the hell out of the hall. It warned
that I wasn’t ready for whatever this stranger offered, or for what he might
take. It ordered me to run away from the dangerous character. Forget about fun.
Think about what you’re doing.

My tingling body, however, told me I shouldn’t jump to
conclusions. Let the moment play out. Forget about caution and explore the
possibilities. I was free and pushing 30, and I didn’t need anyone else’s
permission to do what I wanted. This man was without doubt the most magnetic,
sexy man I’d ever seen. And if I weren’t mistaken, he was interested in me,
too.

With three drinks of buzzed confidence and freshly-signed
divorce papers whispering permission, my body made a far more appealing
argument than my brain.

Then The Businessman smiled a small, knowing smile. His
half-grin was an invitation. It said, come on, do you dare?

It was as if a haze rose in the hallway, and the only thing
I could see clearly was the powerful man with the wicked smile. My awareness of
him was acute, intense. Something about him. Something.

I knew I wanted him. I wanted to kiss that grin and taste
exactly what it was he offered, what he might take.

When he held out a hand to me, I stepped forward and grasped
it, and he led me past the ladies room, farther down the hall, into a darkened
corridor which branched to the right off the main hall. I could make out a
closed door at the end of the corridor, but couldn’t see clearly with the only
lighting coming indirectly from the main hall. We stopped about halfway to the
closed door.

Had I gone insane? What was I doing? We hadn’t even spoken
to one another and here I was following him into the shadows of a noisy old
bar. But I wasn’t much attending any of the thoughts that I should have been
attending. My body had triumphed over my brain, and I wasn’t heeding reason. My
senses were focused on the man holding my hand. Even the loud music from the
bar faded into the distance.

Anyone walking to the end of the main hallway could have
seen us back there, a pair of dark silhouettes moving in the shadows. The
Businessman pulled me to him, held my face and leaned down to kiss me. His lips
barely touched mine. It seemed he was breathing me in and I did the same.

We brushed lips and he tasted of clean freshness and of the
bourbon he’d been drinking. I smelled the spicy scent of his cologne and I laid
my hands against his hard chest. His masculine fragrance mingled with the other
smells in the corridor, grainy spilled beer and the tang of pine paneling, the
bite of the dust we stirred up from the old carpeting.

Our kiss slowly grew more intense. I opened my mouth and he
entered it with a hard tongue. One of his arms slipped around my waist, behind
my back, pulling me closer while I raised my arms to his shoulders and wrapped
them around his neck.

This kissing was a feral thing, out of control. On my part,
at least. For The Businessman, I thought not.

I didn’t question anything. I didn’t worry about people
walking down the main hallway and seeing me. I didn’t fret over being alone,
necking with a stranger. I was of the moment and my body felt alive in a way it
never had. My heart raced as he kissed me in what felt increasingly like a
claim. We weren’t kissing each other. He was claiming me.

His mouth moved over mine with smooth and firm expertise. He
held my face and took what he wanted, leaving me breathless and ready for more.

I don’t know how long we did this. I was lost. And so when
everything changed, it took me a while to catch up.

We’d been kissing, so close and tight together, my breasts
mashed against his hard chest, my fingers groping at the sinewy toughness of
his back. And then it all changed.

In a swift and smooth movement, he pushed away from me,
seized my hands and raised them over my head. In another movement, he turned me
around and shoved me into the wall, front-first, my hot cheek pressed against
the cool paneling.

It seemed only a microsecond passed until he smashed his
body against the back of mine to hold me still, while at the same time he
secured my hands to a fixture on the wall, above my head.

Just like that, I was bound ... and nearly helpless. I felt
his warm breath on my ear. I wasn’t sure what had happened. I twisted and bent
my head back far enough to see my restraints. There it was, wrapped around my
wrists. The Businessman’s tie.

I stupidly thought, “So that’s what he did with it.”

My reaction after that, though, was instinctual. I pulled. I
pulled, and my breath which was already shortened from The Businessman’s kisses
became rough and ragged from a ripening panic. I didn’t want to be helpless. I
had to get away. I may have said no. I don’t know why I didn’t yell, but I’m
certain I didn’t.

I didn’t want to be tied up by a stranger. I pulled harder
but was unable to gain purchase because of his hard weight pressed against my
back. My panic increased.

Before it went full-blown, The Businessman spoke his first
words to me.

His voice was deep and soothing. “I’ll let you go if that’s
what you want.”

I slowed my frantic pulling. He ... would let me go ... if I
want? I made a few more weak pulls as I considered what he said. What was this?
A trick?

He trailed his fingertips down the sides of my raised arms,
so very, very slowly, raising goosebumps as he went. Then he continued down
both sides of my body, past my breasts, down my waist and hips, and onward to
my upper legs. And there he stopped, toying with the bare flesh of my thighs,
millimeters below the hem of my skirt.

“I’ll let you go, if you want,” he said.

I shuddered lightly.

His words fell on my sensitive skin in a heated tickle. “But
I don’t think that’s what you want.”

I shuddered again as his fingertips played up and under the
bottom of my skirt, climbing higher, my nerves dancing under his touch.

I stopped trying to free myself. My breath slowed as if I
were holding it in anticipation of where his fingers might travel next. My
panic morphed into desire, wanting him to touch more.

He took a half-step back to give himself room to explore.
When his fingertips of fire reached the bottom curve of my buttocks, and my
breath audibly caught in my throat, he stopped moving, leaned over so I could
see into his dark eyes. “Are you afraid of me?”

I swallowed the lump his words raised in my throat, and
answered with a weakness I didn’t expect. “Yes ... no.”

“Good. Do you want me to let you go?”

I shook my head.

“Say the words,” he said.

I knew I would say the words. I knew I would say just about
anything he wanted me to say, with his fingers lightly touching the bottom of
my ass, right at the edge of my panties and on the verge of heading I hoped I
knew where.

 “I don’t want you to let me go,” I said.

“Good.” His only response.

He leaned back again, and I was jerked roughly when he
grabbed my panties and yanked them down my legs. I thought I heard them tear,
and I gasped then gritted my teeth at the momentary pain caused by the elastic
biting into my skin. He lifted my feet, one at a time, then sent my panties
sailing away somewhere down the dark hall.

BOOK: The Businessman's Tie (The Power to Please, Book 1)
11.91Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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