Victoria Winstead. My parents are the reigning King and Queen of Hollywood and since I am their only child, that clearly means I am a pampered princess who is accustomed to getting everything I want, when I want it, and how I want it…and right now, I want the most coveted role in Hollywood. One thing stands in my way.
Grayson Leman. This bastard is the only son of the reigning Prince and Princess of Hollywood and I hate everything about him; always have and always will. Our families have a history and it isn’t pretty. It’s ugly, Hollywood style. Oh yea, he’s the one thing standing in my way.
Annabelle Hutchinson. She’s the creation of a writing trio that has managed to rock the entire female population with their erotica novel, Dark Lovers. They have single-handedly brought mommy porn front and center and made it not only acceptable but sexy as hell. A movie deal was made and I am literally (this is embarrassing to say) having to actually fight for something for the first time in my life.
Not to worry, though…I am Hollywood Royalty.
Memphis motioned for us to follow and I took hold of Grayson’s wrist and led him. He followed me willingly and I couldn’t tell if he was just desperately trying to appear submissive or if he truly did have some submissive qualities in him. His head was bowed as we walked, but that could have been from embarassment or nervousness. The crowd of Doms/Dommes and subs parted for us as we journeyed toward the raised stage that Memphis had chosen. I could hear the hushed whispered, even above the thumping of the music. They were excited, that much was obvious. Grayson must have heard it as well. With my gloved hand wrapped firmly around his wrist, I could feel his body tense as we drew closer and closer to the stage.
When we reached the stairs that would take us up to the stage, Memphis paused and turned toward both of us. “Victoria—you answer to me on stage. Grayson—you answer to Victoria. Do you both understand?” Her eyes were sharp as she searched our faces and reactions. I knew how badly she wanted this, but I also knew she would pull the plug immediately if she sensed that either of us wasn’t ready for what was about to take place. She would never allow anything inappropriate to happen inside the club that she loved.
We both nodded. Me, quickly. Grayson took a few extra seconds. I could tell there was an internal struggle taking place in his mind. Did he want this?
I squeezed his wrist and he seemed to snap out of whatever was holding his mind hostage. His eyes flickered to mine. They were darker than before and they searched my face for something…I wasn’t sure what. I returned his gaze and realized I could get lost in azure blue of those orbs. I smiled softly and nodded at him. “Only if you want to, Grayson. No more playing or bickering with each other. This is a big step…for both of us.”
“I’m ready. I trust you.” Those three words, spoken softly and intensely touched parts of me that I thought I had safely locked away and guarded. How could he trust me? We’d only just met and I’d been nothing but mean to him. Our families had a history…an ugly history. But, yet, I knew he wasn’t lying to me. He did, for some unknown reason, trust me with his body.
“Follow me,” I commanded. Memphis nodded her approval and allowed both of us to step up the stairs and onto the stage. I was very accustomed to being the center of attention and with his football playing, he had to be fairly comfortable with it as well. Right? Nope, one look at his face told me that he was about as far from comfortable as he could be at the moment. It was my role, my responsibility, to make him comfortable. Shit, I had no clue how to do it. He needed calming and he needed it quickly.
“It’s okay, Grayson. We won’t do anything you don’t want to do.” Instinct had me stroking his wrist in a steady rthym that I hoped he would be able to focus on. Hell, his eyes looked like they were about to glaze over and at any moment, his heart just might thunder right out of his chest. Placing my finger under his chin, I lifted his face so that he looked me in the eyes again. “Are you with me?”
He nodded and took a deep breath in an attempt to calm his nerves. “I’m okay, just nervous. Not my usual thing.”
“Me either,” I answered honestly. “Do we want to run?”
“No. I’m not sure they’d let us at this point,” he joked weakly. His eyes nervously scanned the crowd and he took another gulp, his adam’s apple bobbing with the movement. I wanted to kiss it. Shit, why would I want to kiss it? I should be wanting to wrap my fingers around it and squeeze until he stopped squirming.
Memphis joined us on the stage and offered a smile of encouragement. “Grayson, this was your decision. Because this is your first time, I’m sure that Victoria won’t mind if you choose your scene for the evening. Is that alright with you, Vic?”
“Of course.” My eyes quickly scanned the stage to see what type of implements were being offered. Since we were on center stage, there were several devices available. On one side of the stage was a bondage rack. The center held a St. Andrew’s Cross. The other corner held a spanking bench. A table sat innocently to our immediate left, but it did not contain anything innocent on it. It held various-sized dildos, floggers, canes, paddles, plugs, and cock rings. I recognized all of them from our training courses. Matilda, one of my trainers, had mentioned I was quite good with the flogger. Should I mention that to him?
His eyes followed the direction of mine and, when he saw what was on the table, I saw his eyes widen in fear or discomfort. I squeezed his wrist again. “No, look at me.” I ordered. He obeyed. Hell, I could get into this if I wasn’t careful.
“Very good, Victoria,” Memphis complimented.
“Grayson, what do you prefer?” Her hand swept toward the bondage rack, cross, and spanking bench. “Should Victoria explain each of them to you?”
“No. No, I know what they are,” he answered. His cheeks were tinged pink and his breathing was getting worse. He looked at each one like he was trying to decide between the gilotine, firing squad, or electric chair. “The…the cross, I guess.”
“Good selection,” Memphis answered. “It will fit your body nicely, don’t you agree, Victoria?”
“Very nice,” I answered. I did agree—his body would look fabulous stretched and spread for me, but I didn’t want him to look so sick about what was about to take place.
“What clothing will you allow Victoria to remove tonight?”
He whipped his head in her direction and frowned. Then he looked at me, but he didn’t frown. “What do you want, Mistress?”
I didn’t want to smile at him, but I couldn’t have stopped it if my very life had depended on it. Suddenly I understood what Memphis had been trying to explain to me. He held all the power. It was clear to everybody in the room that he was the strongest person on the stage, but when he submitted and handed that strength over to someone else…it made me feel powerful and cherished. I liked it. I didn’t necessarily want to like it, but I did. “The shirt and pants for tonight, Gray. We don’t want the crowd to get too excited, do we?”
He looked so relieved. “No, Mistress, we wouldn’t want that.”
“Excellent decision, Victoria. Why don’t you help Grayson with his clothing while I get the restraints ready?”
Holy shit! I have to take his clothes off? Holy shit! I get to take his clothes off!