It all started with that stupid Bay Area Developers Association function at Christmas.   Damn Damien. He always insists on going to these things. He was a ceaseless and shameless networker. Cate was tired after a long week of begging Japanese investors to invest in her biotech company. Innovation comes at a steep price, apparently. And the Japanese, in spite of their inscrutable politeness, somehow made it loud and clear they would have preferred investing with a male dominated company. Which Cate was extremely frustrated by.   She was not willing to compromise her ethic to cow tow to the parade of junior investment reps sent to appease her demands for more funding. God, she needed a massage, and now, she thought to herself.

Instead however, she was preparing for an evening of glad-handing and touting the wonders of her long-time partner and so called “life companion”. What was wrong with actually being married she sometimes wondered. She sat at her dressing room bar, sequestered in an intimate, but airy paneled room off of their vast marble bath, thinking about how exhausted she felt, but knowing Damien would be very unforgiving if she did not attend.

Her dress at least made her feel… edgy. Alive.   It was fine white charmeuse silk, with a heavy gold collar punctuated with a jeweled buckle at the front.   The suggestion of a gold chain leash attached to it with a small lock and key pendant draped between her breasts made the ensemble erotic and more provocative than what she would usually wear. Her stylist chose it for her, and she had to give him credit – the dress made her feel sexy and powerful. The keyhole neckline dipped almost to her navel, but the draping of the fabric gave just enough of a suggestion of cleavage, on both sides of her breasts, to be alluring. Her breasts were perfect: full and gravity-defying as they jutted from her ribcage; firm with rose-tinted nipples which were sensitive to the caress of the silk. Her shoulders were bare and she massaged in scented oil with a hint of shimmer. Her skin glowed with a natural golden tan under the gleam of the warm oil. Thick silky fine hair with blonde streaks was wound into a loose knot, and she wove in a long delicate chain of platinum and diamonds instead of wearing any other jewelry.

Damien stomped into the room; distracted and in a rush. Dressed to kill in a tuxedo and hand-made Italian shoes, his powerful, muscular build combined with precisely cut blonde hair and translucent aqua blue eyes turned many heads. His form gave the impression of tension, even when standing still due to his restless nature. Cate often wondered if he cheated, but had never been able to verify this question, and had resigned herself to knowing his occasional disappearances on mysterious “business trips” were the price she paid for having him as her own. He paced anxiously, failing to even notice her dress, and instead asked Cate if she would be ready soon. “Five more minutes” she calmly replied as she slicked scented lotion on her long, athletic legs, and fastened the impossibly slim straps of her Louboutin’s. Damien was due to receive an award this evening for being one of the city’s top developers, and in spite of his brash confidence, was slightly rattled by the extra attention.

At last they made their way to the car and were on their way – sweeping down the hillsides of the city from their penthouse with 360 degree views of the sparkling city. It was enough to take your breath away. Usually. Cate was too distracted to notice, but trying to be supportive nevertheless, complemented Damien on his forthcoming award.

“Damien, I think it’s fantastic you’re getting the recognition you deserve for all your work to rebuild the Tenderloin. No one would have ventured in there five years ago without an armed guard, and you’ve managed to turn it into the hottest up-and-coming neighborhood in the city”.

“Yea, well, those city planner assholes really raked me over the coals getting the building permits done. I mean, those guys really busted my balls”.

“I know, but you did it, and now, when you’re up there receiving that award, you know that you showed them there is more to development work than a fancy new stadium or a new high rise downtown.”

“I think they gave it to me because they had to. No one else was doing anything coming out of the recession and since I had cash when no one else did… well, I was in better shape than most.   Thank god I invested in energy when I did. Those high gas prices were a beautiful thing for me”.

“I know, babe, but give yourself some credit. You look forward and invest in places that no one else has the vision for. That’s to be commended. Truly”.

“I know you hate these things, but I have to be here and be visible so all the other big names know I’m not going away any time soon”.

At last Damian finally came out of his thoughts and put his strong hand on her thigh as he drove, pushing up the thick silk material to get to skin, and squeezed. He didn’t need to say anything. Cate knew he liked what he saw…and caught him eyeing her as she reached to adjust a vent. Her dress was entirely open down the sides to her waist and he slipped his hand inside to graze her nipple as her breast swung free. She arched against him as her breath caught, sitting back in her seat to savor the sensation.   She so rarely caught his full attention, in spite of her loveliness.   He felt her respond and squeezed his fingertips on her hardening nipples. Cate let out a small moan of pleasure then, and turned to him with a look of longing. He always knows exactly where to touch. But why do I give him such power over me? Her nipples were encased in the finest of gold rings, placed there earlier after she’d secretly suctioned them into an aching erectness that craved attention. The rings squeezed with a slightly painful pleasure she’d only recently discovered and the combination of the light abrasion of the fabric and his fingertips was enough to send an electric jolt to her core.

He had no answer for her silent question, and moments later they had arrived at the Clift Hotel where the dinner was being held. The valet could barely contain himself as he opened the door of their Maserati, offering his hand to help her out of the car with a wide smile. Her long tan legs unwound and she grasped his hand with a soft “thank you”. Damien came around and guided her inside with his hand at her bare back; her dress revealing two hip bone indentions above a sweep of white silk covering her high, curved ass.

Damien was not the only one to notice the taut curves of her body however. She leaned into him to chuckle over an inside joke about a toupee-wearing attendee and her breasts swayed and strained against the fabric. Nick, who was pretending to not notice her, but paying very close attention to her entrance, was entranced. Jesus she was fucking hot. And the thought of biting those tits, suckling them until she begged for mercy… Sweet Jesus. Did she not know how crazy, how on the verge of utter loss of control she made him? Nick Constantine, her primary business competitor. He owned a company developing a product similar to hers and while slightly behind her in the development for his product, was not someone to take lightly. He was extremely smart, and exceedingly driven to be the first to market with a new, life-changing technology. Brilliant and incredibly attractive – Nick had it all, and was, to be sure, San Francisco’s most eligible bachelor.

He had it all. All that is except his wife and son. They were tragically killed in a plane crash coming home from a ski trip at Mammoth. Nick had clearly buried himself in his work and nothing was going to come between himself and getting his drug to market.   Everyone in the industry knew about the terrible tragedy of his family, but he refused to talk about it in public. He was stoic, resolute, and his steel blue eyes revealed nothing of his pain.

Cate and Damien made their way inside the ballroom and were immediately separated by Damien being pulled away to glad-hand city planners and investors. Cate resolutely walked to one of several bar stations around the room and requested a chardonnay. She really wanted a French Chablis, but asking for that in California wine country would be akin to treason. She took a small sip and carried her wine to a small cluster of friendly looking people and introduced herself. One thing she was good at was social situations. Even though they were occasionally tiresome, she understood the power and value of networking, particularly amongst the close knit San Francisco community.

Catching Damien’s eye across the room, she gave him a small smile, hoping to flirt a little. However, she then noticed he was standing next to one of the true lady dragons of the city, Eva. Eva Velazquez.   Damn. Eva had been hot after Damien for years now and there was seemingly nothing Cate could do about it. And what was even more infuriating was that he seemed to actually be enjoying her company, smiling and laughing at what seemed an inside joke as their heads bobbed together. What the hell!!?? He had his hand on her bare, muscled back.   She was somehow wearing a dress very similar to Cate’s with an opening that scooped down to almost reveal her tiny ass. God dammit.

No wonder she felt so insecure. Here she was, a brilliant, beautiful, PhD with her own biotech company, being made to feel second-best in a room full of the most powerful people in her city. How did she get here? Steve Jobs’ presence was sorely missed, but he might as well have been there with all the money and clout in the room. It was embarrassing. She pivoted to storm out, feeling the blush rising up her neck in response to Damien’s all too public infidelity, and slipped out a side door onto the terrace. Blinking back tears, she cursed aloud under her breath. Bastard! Never. Again. She vowed, hopelessly saddened by his obnoxious behavior after he had just seemed so attentive in the car. His manipulations were becoming so tiresome and confusing.

How to get out of here without making a scene was now the question. She turned, hoping to find another way through the ballroom without having to go back in the way she came out, and startled when she saw the faint glow of a lit cigar ember from a dark corner of the terrace. Dark blue eyes took her in from behind the smoke wafting upward from his cigar. Even in shadow she could feel him looking at her, patiently waiting for her to notice he was there.


Her breath caught in her throat.

Damn. Why did he affect her this way?

He silently stood and walked towards her, gazing intently into her eyes with a soft, questioning look. She knew he knew. Knew what an ass Damien was and felt ashamed. He didn’t say anything, but draped his black tuxedo jacket around her and guided her into a shadowed part of the patio. He pulled her to sit next to him, and while she felt she should resist, she didn’t; instead savoring the feel of his massive, hard body next to hers. Nick was huge, easily 6’4”, and broad, with a heavily muscled back, shoulders and arms. The tux was obviously custom as no off the rack garment would fit the way his clothes did. She felt tiny next to him, and shivered a bit as he let her just sit and be still for a moment, his heavy arm protectively around her.

Chapter 2 – Nick.

Jesus fuck. He ached to ravage this woman. Why Damien couldn’t see that she was the most tantalizing woman in the universe was beyond him. Here she is, the perfect mix of high class gorgeous, incredible intelligence, and utterly fuckable; and her idiot of a partner is inside blatantly flirting with one of the most notorious women in the city. She looked insanely tempting in that dress, and the glimpses of the curve of her breasts as she moved and nestled into him made him catch his breath. The thought of her wearing a matching pair of handcuffs nearly sent him over the edge. He had wanted her for so long he ached, and his cock throbbed inside his carefully tailored pants, but this was not the way he wanted to take her. She was vulnerable and hurt. He wanted her to come to him when she felt powerful and would not easily submit to him. Granted, he wanted her to submit – that was the ultimate goal – for her to beg him for mercy as he was fucking her until she shattered into a million pieces screaming his name. But not now, not when she was hurt and angry. He could wait, but not for long; he would have to take her soon.


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