Lone survivor crescent c.., p.3

Lone Survivor (Crescent City Kings Book 1), page 3


Lone Survivor (Crescent City Kings Book 1)

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  Oh honey, if only. He would fucking love to see her bound and gagged for his pleasure. But he didn’t think she was ready for a club like his. Then again, perhaps Club Underworld was just the ticket to shock her out of her grief and make her want to live again. “It’s a special type of club and it’s not for everybody. There tends to be a bit more flesh, among other things.”

  He purposely left out what those other things were. If she was curious enough, she would figure it out. If not, then there was nothing more to be said about it.

  She gave him the stink eye, with a raised brow like he was on drugs. “And what type of club is it? I thought clubs were fairly basic meat markets where they serve adult beverages, blast music loud enough to wake the dead, and tend to cause adults to do things that put them in the emergency room.”

  “Club Underworld has a little bit more going on than most clubs. But again, it’s not for everyone.” She was a persistent little thing, with a natural curiosity. “I expect to see you at group therapy tomorrow,” he said as he ushered her out the door.

  She breezed by him, smelling like ginger that made his mouth unexpectedly water to taste her, then provided him with a full glimpse of her curvy, delectable backside, and Ram wondered what she looked like naked.

  Chapter 3

  On her way home from her meeting with Doctor O’Malley, Sadie stopped at the farmer’s market and couldn’t resist getting a coffee-flavored Snoball drizzled with chocolate sauce. She was addicted to them, and she was in the mood for some comfort food. For the uninitiated in New Orleans cuisine, it was a shaved ice snow cone with flavor added. They had all the typical fruit flavors, plus some more exotic ones like marshmallow dream bar, cookies and cream, rainbow unicorn with skittles, crème brûlée, and many more to choose from. Today, she waffled between getting the cherry jubilee, with maraschino cherries and cherry flavored syrup, or the chocolate coffee delight.

  After the last twelve hours she’d had, she opted for the caffeine and chocolate. At least the rest of her haul at the farmer’s market was healthy—for the most part. She wasn’t going to count the pralines or the raw sugar toffee she’d picked up too.

  Sadie was renting a spacious, two-bedroom condominium with a second-floor loft in Metairie, in a nice quiet street and neighborhood. The best part was the bus stop not twenty feet from her door. It made getting around so much easier. It had been two years since she had driven a car. She refused to drive after the accident, not trusting her judgement or her reflexes. Plus, there was the tiny issue she’d been having with the PTSD episodes. The mere thought of getting behind the wheel again made her hyperventilate and panic. She could visualize herself at the wheel, blanking out to the world around her thanks to her past and inadvertently taking out a busload of school kids during an attack. The thought gave her the willies. She knew she needed to face her fear. That she was allowing fear to hold her hostage. But she wasn’t ready. She wanted to be. Even just sitting in the driver’s seat paralyzed her with fear.

  Instead of driving, Sadie took the bus or walked. The hospital was only eight blocks from her place. As long as she wasn’t working the night shift or it wasn’t raining, she walked to and from work. It was great exercise every day.

  Or she hopped on the bus and rode that for those same eight blocks.

  Sure, relying on public transport made getting around more creative, but she couldn’t drive again. She wouldn’t. She knew it was a stupid hang up, but she didn’t trust herself behind the wheel anymore. No matter what anyone said regarding the accident not being her fault, it did not mitigate her knowledge that if she had been paying better attention instead of steaming over the fight she and Henry had had before they left the house, she would have seen the semi approaching in enough time to stop or swerve out of the way.

  Ramsey O’Malley had given her quite a bit of food for thought. Once inside her place, Sadie stowed her purchases and got some salsa chicken started in the crockpot for dinner. It was a super easy yet rather tasty way of preparing chicken. She made herself a soothing cup of chamomile tea, then she sat down at her sleek, modern kitchen table with the notebook she’d purchased at the farmer’s market.

  Ram wanted her to detail the events from her episode. Thinking about her assignment conjured the man up in her mind. He was tall, a good six feet or more, and solid with muscle. His tousled dirty blond hair was sun-kissed, like he had been spending an inordinate amount of time outdoors soaking up the summer sun. It turned him into a golden Adonis, with a few days’ worth of stubble lining the strong jawline of his oblong face. His tan skin made the unique dove gray color of his eyes more prominent. His nose was slightly crooked, like it had been broken and not set properly. He had kissable lips, the bottom fuller than the top, which she had stared at while he’d talked today, wondering how those lips would feel against her skin.

  And that was just his face. But he was the entire package, with wide shoulders and lean hips. The jeans he’d worn today had appeared butter soft and fit him like a dream. Sadie had been aware of him as a man. It wasn’t like she wasn’t aware of Luc and some of the other doctors and male nurses, but her body didn’t light up like a Christmas tree in their vicinity. But when it came to her new psychologist, her body was all too aware of him. It had been part of her problem today. Why she’d not felt settled and calm. She liked talking with him. He wasn’t egotistical, or overly clinical in how he related. He displayed empathy and concern, which were points in his favor. She might not have wanted to go, but after this morning, she knew she would give it a chance, give him a try, if only to discover if she felt the same wallop of hair-raising energy again.

  Sadie realized that he wanted her to examine her episode from the other night in her journaling first. It wasn’t that she didn’t want to follow his directions—she did. But she felt that putting down everything from the night that changed the entire course of her life was the place where she needed to start for herself. Then they could hopefully identify the triggers for her attacks that much more easily.

  She inhaled a few deep, calming breaths with her eyes closed, flipping the calendar days back two years to that fateful August first. The world around her dissolved as she took herself back.

  Two Years Ago

  Sadie slammed the car door shut once she was seated in the driver’s seat. Unbelievable. The jerk had been drinking. Again. Henry knew how much she loathed driving into the city. And yet, instead of being responsible, Henry had had a few beers over the course of the afternoon.

  His excuse: It was a Saturday so he had no responsibilities, and it helped him relax. Plus, they were her parents, not his.

  Like it pained him to have to spend time with her parents—and her, for that matter. Sadie realized her parents could be demanding. But lately Henry had been acting out of character, had been emotionally distant, preferring to drink when they were together. As if being around Sadie and her parents was the last thing on earth he wanted to do.

  They’d been together for four years and had been married for two of the four. They had built a dream house in an upscale neighborhood a good forty-five minutes from downtown Seattle, depending upon traffic. Their home was near the hospital where she worked as a nurse.

  And Henry’s commute to work at his accounting firm wasn’t bad. But he’d been working longer hours. When she mentioned having kids, he clammed up, refusing to even discuss it.

  But Sadie wanted babies, as in plural. She figured now was the time to begin, while her body was on the younger side, at thirty. Yet he wouldn’t even listen. Instead, he drank, and told her nothing was wrong, that it was her overactive imagination.

  “Sweetheart, are you sure you don’t want me to drive?” her dad asked, snapping on his seatbelt in the back seat.

  “Yes, I’m fine.” Sadie drove while Henry was being very animated, charming her parents, like he always had to smooth over the frigid temperatures and distance between them.

  And she seethed, replaying the fight in their bedroom.

/>   “How could you do this to me? You know I hate driving into Seattle.”

  “I can drive, I’m not drunk.”

  “You’ve had three beers in the last hour. If you think I’m letting you get behind the wheel, you’re crazy. Why did you have to go drink?”

  “Your mom already started in on me with the when are we having kids spiel.”

  “Jesus, Henry, get over it. Just because you’re freaking out over the possibility and acting like Peter Pan, doesn’t mean she’s asking that to drive you to drink. You drink anyway—all the time when we’re together lately. If I didn’t know you better, I would say you were having an affair.”

  Henry grew defensive. “That’s absurd, and rather typical. Just because I don’t want to have kids with you doesn’t mean I’m having an affair.”

  She jerked back like he’d physically struck her. Not want to have kids with her? “Since when?”

  “Look, we don’t need to get into this now. Let’s get to dinner and the musical. It can wait until tomorrow and then we’ll talk.”

  Her heart hammering in her chest, she shook her head, backing away from the man she’d thought she knew. “So let me get this straight, you’re drinking all the time because you are feeling pressured to have kids with me. But you never said that you don’t want kids. I asked you when we were dating and when you proposed, with your answer being yes each time. You know I want kids. I’ve never lied about that, or hidden it from you.”

  “That’s not what I said. I didn’t agree, I just said someday.”

  “And someday implies a yes. You know what? Screw you, Henry. You’re a fucking asshole. I’m leaving. We’re leaving for dinner and the show. You can come—or not. Frankly, I don’t give two shits what you’re going to do. For all I care, you can stay home and drink yourself into an early grave.”

  Then she heard her parents and husband laughing, making her grind her teeth. On top of her anger was a deep abiding ache because she didn’t know if they could come back from this discord. She wanted kids. But now, apparently, he did not. That left them at a crossroads.

  “Sadie, watch out!” Henry yelled. She jolted. Turned her head in time just fast enough to see the huge silver metal grill of the semi as it slammed into the passenger side.

  One minute she was awake and in the next instance, it was lights out.

  Present Day

  Sadie’s hand stilled over the page. Looking back at that horrid day, it was a blessing that they were all killed on impact. That her parents and husband didn’t experience any pain. In the days that followed the accident, she had existed, but not much else. The pain had been too overwhelming. Three funerals in three days. First her mother, then her father, and last had been her husband. By the time the last funeral rolled around, she was hollowed out and almost ended up back in the hospital for exhaustion and dehydration.

  Sadie lifted her head up, tears in her eyes, and took a few deep breaths. It was always tough remembering. Especially with the knowledge that there had been a part of her calling Henry every name she could think of, wishing he would do her a favor and drink himself to death.

  It was her private shame.

  It added to the weight of her guilt and sorrow. The accident was fate’s way of punishing her for her cruel thoughts. It didn’t matter how hurt she had been, it had been wrong of her to think that way. Because in her mind and heart during that drive, she had known deep down she was going to ask for a divorce, that their marriage was not working. And while she loved him, she was no longer in love with him.

  At least she had filled in a few pages in the journal for Ram. Sadie left her spot at the table with her stomach growling. Other than the delicious Snoball, she had not stopped to eat much today. The homey chef’s kitchen was what had sold her on her apartment, with its stainless steel appliances, dark gray granite countertops, slate blue walls and an ivory floor tile. The rest of the floors were all hardwood. She fixed herself a plate of the salsa chicken and salad, breaking open a bottle of chardonnay, because it had been one hell of a long day, and considered her new psychologist.

  There had been a moment with him, when she’d picked up the card to his club and looked up. That there had been a flash of lust in his gaze and then it had vanished, replaced with a rather distant, cold stare. Like he had tried to hide the desire he felt toward her. All the more disconcerting was her body’s response to his lust-filled gaze. The libido that had been absent for two years had done an imitation of Dracula rising from the grave. Heat flushed her body, her nipples hardened, and her sex throbbed. She’d stared, stunned, at his broad shoulders and muscular form, yearning to touch him, to run her fingers through the exposed hint of chest hair where he’d left the top button on his white linen dress shirt open at the neck.

  The air had shimmered between them. But then he had withdrawn, making her wonder if it had been her imagination. He had this veneer of sophistication, but it hid a bad boy underneath.

  She’d not forgotten the card with the club name on it. What kind of club had more exposed flesh than on Bourbon Street? Because she had seen plenty of tits and ass there. Was it a strip club? Was he that typical kind of male who got his jollies off watching women strip, and getting lap dances?

  That would be disappointing. He was attractive enough, he should have women throwing themselves at him. Unless he had a small package, or a doodle that didn’t function properly. It happened. It would be a damn shame for a man that sinfully gorgeous to have a malfunctioning pecker.

  After dinner, Sadie settled herself on her Chesterfield sofa with her laptop and researched the club.

  Oh boy! It wasn’t a strip club. A strip club was tame by comparison to this one.

  Her cheeks heated. Club Underworld was a BDSM club. It was a place where people who were into the lifestyle of Bondage, Dominance, Sadism, and Masochism practiced their kinks. There was a trill of energy that curled into her belly at the thought of being bound and spanked by Ram.

  Her curiosity piqued, she spent the next few hours researching the club and its subsequent Yelp reviews.

  The reviews said things like:

  The best sex I ever had.

  Master Michael and Dante are every submissive’s fantasy.

  Too bad I don’t live in NOLA or I would attend every night.

  Best night of my life, I’ve never climaxed so much in one session.

  If those weren’t glowing recommendations, she didn’t know what was, and while reading the reviews, she came across mentions for online communities for those in the lifestyle. Being someone for whom curiosity came naturally, now that she had started down the rabbit hole, she couldn’t seem to stop.

  The more she learned, the more alive she felt. And weirdly enough, she kept picturing Ram with her, wearing black leather pants, shirtless, and tying her up to do naughty things with her before giving her a screaming orgasm.

  When Sadie finally stopped researching, mainly because it was past one in the morning, she was aroused. How was that even possible? She had been little better than a zombie in that department over the last two years, where nothing had fazed her or gotten her excited in any manner.

  But this? Did she want to have some guy tie her up and screw her brains out? Judging by the myriad pings of sensation that flooded her system and coalesced in her belly at the thought, she would say that was a yes.

  But as she climbed into bed, she wondered if it was the kinky sex or the desire to have the kinky sex with her new therapist. The thought of it turned her on so much, she did something she hadn’t done in months. She broke out the vibrator sitting in her nightstand.

  Her nipples beaded at the thought of Doctor Ramsey O’Malley ordering her onto one of those benches that put her body at the perfect height for fucking. Since this was her fantasy, he would be in leather pants and shirtless.

  He’d walk in front of her line of sight from her bound position, undo the zipper on his pants, free his big cock and hold it with one hand in front of her mouth.

  “Open up and suck me,” he would command in a deep bedroom voice that was rough with his desire.

  She licked her lips, wanting it, wanting him. “Yes.”

  His free hand would grip her head. “Yes what, my naughty slave?”

  “Yes, Master.” And at her words, he would coax her mouth open and thrust inside. He would be big enough to stretch her lips wide.

  She could imagine his taste, the flavor of him would roll on her tongue as she took him deep, moaning around his bulging shaft as he thrust. She sucked him until he came, his semen filling her mouth, making her throat work to swallow every drop.

  But by some miracle, he would still be erect, because he needed to fuck her. He shifted and walked around to her tail end, where she was open, wet and ready for him. Where he would thrust deep, with no protection, because he planned to own her and wanted her cunt all for himself.

  Sadie’s back arched at the orgasm as it slashed her system. She quaked, her pussy clenching around the vibrator as she came, hard and long. By the time she withdrew the toy from her sheath, she was spent, and not a little awed.

  She couldn’t ever remember ever having such a powerful orgasm. And that had only been with a fantasy about the lifestyle, with Ram in the starring role. Could that be the key to help draw her out from the depths of despair and help her break the chokehold of her past?

  Chapter 4

  The next day, Sadie exited the bus and was enveloped into the sweltering heat that was the Mississippi Delta. It wasn’t just hot, but humid. The air so thick with moisture, it made her hair frizz, even pulled back in a ponytail.

  The sweltering heat made her perspire during the short, two-block walk from the bus stop to the office building. At least the building was air-conditioned. She trod across the open atrium with the bronze sculpture, one of those modern numbers with spires twisting toward the ceiling. Trepidation filled her as she spied the open door to the conference room. Ramsey stood in the doorframe, like he was waiting for her before beginning. Today, he was dressed again in jeans and a light seafoam blue, linen dress shirt. The cuffs were rolled up to his elbows, revealing powerful, tanned forearms. He still hadn’t shaved, and it did wicked things to her insides—sinful, melty things in her belly and sex that left her aching.

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