Excerpt from Muse

He loomed over the table, an undeniable presence despite his no more than average height. She shrank back into her chair, her pulse loud and fast in her ears, her thighs slippery. “I know you, Lissa. I've read every book you've written. I've watched you, on the street, at readings, working at your computer. You don't want timid games. You're afraid to admit it – I understand – but you want marks. Bruises. Blood. You want to be tested, stretched to the breaking point and beyond.”

He captured her right wrist in his big, bony hand. The fountain pen fluttered in her fingers like a caged bird. “Write me your fantasies, and I'll make them real. Show me your rawest, darkest dreams – all the filthy details. Then trust me to fulfill them.”

Clearly he was mad. Perhaps even dangerous. She should call Jeremy, the manager, or the security guard who was taking a break now that the crowd had dispersed. Somehow she couldn't move. His grip wasn't tight. She could have pulled her hand away. But his eyes bored into her and his voice stilled her, holding her transfixed like a pinned insect.

“I can't...” she murmured.

“I say you can. If you choose.” He leaned closer, until she felt his warm breath on her face. He smelled of tobacco and wood varnish. “It's up to you, Lissa, to take the first step.”

“But how...?”

“Begin by writing, 'To my master'.” He relinquished her hand and she found herself following his instructions. A thrill shot through her as the violet ink she used for signings flowed onto the page. Master. So strange. Was this real?

“Good girl. Now, 'From his devoted slave'.”

She giggled – she couldn't help herself. It just sounded so silly and cheesy.

“You'll likely find it less amusing as time goes on,” he commented, his voice edged with irony.

“Sorry – I just can't take this seriously.” She surveyed him with greater care. Amazing that a man of such ordinary appearance could broadcast such an aura of control. Now that she thought of it, his face was somehow familiar. “Is this a joke? Did Laurel put you up to this?” Her best friend, another author, had been known to organize elaborate pranks.

He ignored her question. “Close your eyes.”

Without thinking, she obeyed.

“Imagine you're bound tight. Your breasts are purple and sore from the ropes looped around them. A bar is lashed between your ankles, holding you wide open. Your ass is plugged and you're suspended from the ceiling. Your cunt-juice drips onto the floor.”

The situation he described sprang to life in her mind, in vivid detail. She was, after all, used to creating scenes out of words. A rush of lust surged through her, leaving her trembling and faint.

Back to Books