Hey reading family! So as you are aware my next series is three books and a little on the hot tamale side! If you saw the cover reveal then you know we’re getting into some sexual situations in STIFF. Below find a un-edited sample for your reading pleasure and let me know what you think in the comments.
Was I really doing this?
My eyes flipped to the rearview mirror as I sat cloaked in the darkness of night. I didn’t move inside my Lexus LX as I watched the upscale club, The Den, doors rotate with high society clientele. For a minute, I wondered if I were in the wrong business.
Groups of women made their way through the door as if they didn’t care if they were spotted. Seconds ticked by, and I thought I saw a famous female rapper enter the building.
A chuckle rose through my body, tickling my flesh as I laughed.
There was no way in hell that was who I thought it was. Right?
My forehead crinkled as I thought it over.
What the hell was I doing?
The middle console vibrated when my iPhone rang, and I hit the answer button on my steering wheel.
“You haven’t gotten out of the car yet, have you?”
Brandy was one of my best friends. I, her, and Patience were like the three musketeers. Well, without all of the swords and fighting and shit.
We’d added Nicole to the fold when we reunited a few years ago. But none of us were as close to Nicole as we were to each other.
“And Nicole,” Nicole chimed.
“So y’all called me on four-way?”
I smirked. They knew me too well.
“You’re trying to talk yourself out of it, aren’t you?” Brandy asked.
“First of all, Brandy, how did you get in this? All up in a sista business.”
“Pfft!” Brandy scoffed. “The audacity to think you could hide something as juicy as this from me.”
“Nicole, I asked you how exclusive this was, and you assured me no one would find out. Now we’ve got Inspector Gadget on the line. How am I supposed to be incognito?”
Nicole and Patience laughed so hard I imagined tears were spilling from their eyes.
“It isn’t that funny,” Brandy cut in.
“I’m sorry, but you are Inspector Gadget. You can find out who framed Roger Rabbit if you hadn’t already watched the movie.”
“Yeah, yeah, anyway. Don’t try and change this subject, Asia. Are you in that car?”
“She must be because there’s no background music,” Patience added.
I sighed. “Yes, I’m in the car, but at least I’m at the club, which, I’ve got to tell you Nicole is a bit cliché.”
“This experience happening inside a strip club, really?”
“But you knew that already. You said it when we were getting our nails done Monday.”
It was Friday, and I’d been a nervous wreck all week thinking about what this evening would bring after Nicole calmed me enough with the details to go for it.
She set up the entire thing. I was to go inside, and apparently, I would have a personal hostess who would show me where I needed to be. That didn’t stop my mind from backpedaling as I sat, continuing to watch small clusters of people walk in every five minutes or so.
“I wasn’t being serious. You see these types of things in movies, so I just threw it out there.”
“What movies?” Brandy asked.
“Anyway,” Nicole interrupted. “Listen to me, Asia, you have nothing to worry about. Not only have I taken care of you, but you’ll have your own personal bodyguard too.
So at any time, if you’re feeling uncomfortable or you’re experience goes too far, and you’re not ready, you can back out without worrying that someone doesn’t have your back.”
“You should’ve let me come with you,” Brandy added.
“Yeah, right, so I can have you smirking at me while I’m trying to get my freak or not on, no thanks.”
Nicole and Patience were giggling again.
“Hey,” Patience added. “It should’ve really been me. I could be there to get my groove on.”
I pursed my lips. “Well, if you want to be Stella, just say that.”
Nicole howled with laughter, and I shook my head. I’m hanging up with you guys. Don’t wait up.”
I ended the call before either of them could say another word. It was at my expense that they got their shits and giggles tonight, but if I was going to see this thing through, I had to get on with it, or else I would peel out of this parking lot with brakes squealing.
I took in a deep breath and glanced at myself in the mirror. I let my afro out tonight. Some days I was a three-C, others a four-A. It really depended. Tonight, my curls were thick and smelled of peaches and cream thanks to the moisturizer that I used faithfully. My eyelashes were naturally long, tinted with mascara, and traced with eyeliner.
On my mouth, black matte lipstick filled my full lips, and the diamond stud nose ring I kept out of sight when I did business had been added for what I thought was a sexy effect.
While I wanted to look my best tonight, I also didn’t want to overdo it. I couldn’t figure out why. As if whoever would be on the promising end of this pussy would give a damn.
True, Nicole said if the entertainer felt comfortable with me, they would be happy to oblige, but why I cared what they thought of my look, rather bold, timid, or in between remained a mystery.
I took a hand down my breasts, lifting them and releasing them to make sure my corset was working its magic.
It was. Those babies didn’t move and damn near sat in my throat.
“Okay, Asia, it’s now or never.”
Dressed in all black, I exited the car and shut the door, hitting the alarm immediately, my hips sashaying as I meandered around a few parked cars to the front door.
The club appeared to be about six stories high, which made me wonder just how much fucking was going on in this place.
With a thigh-length trench coat tied with a leather belt at my waist, I shivered from the winter winds. Atlanta was almost as south as you could get, but the weather was nothing to be played with in February. Not to a southern-bred girl like myself anyway.
The doors opened without me touching them, and I strolled inside, assaulted with warmth as soon as I crossed the threshold.
Multicolored lights spun from the ceiling, and a woman in fishnet stockings and a thigh-high dress approached me with an electronic tablet in her hand. A sexy smile spread across her mouth, and dreadlocks hung down her back.
“Good evening,” her easy voice murmured.
I immediately understood why she was the greeter. Her voice was hypnotic, so were her eyes and approaching allure.
“Good evening,” I said back.
“I’m Daniella. Do you have a reservation?”
“What’s your name, beautiful?”
Daniella checked her list, and a smile ushered to her lips as she dropped the tablet by her side, spun on her heels, and angled her eyes back at me.
“What would you like to be called tonight?”
I swallowed. This woman knew all my business. I felt it. Nicole said no one would know but me and my entertainer. But someone had to tell him, right? I was beginning to get nervous again as anxiety ran through my body in a tailspin.
Noticing my hesitation, Daniella turned back to me.
“Whatever you fear, you can leave it at the door. You’re safe here.”
I swallowed again and nodded.
“Are you sure?”
“Do you think I should use an alias?”
“No, no. Whatever you’re comfortable with.”
I exhaled a breath that had been stuck in my throat.
Daniella’s smile pushed up her eyebrows, and she typed something on her tablet.
“Follow me, Carmen.”
We strolled through what appeared to be a long corridor with tinted glass windows as the walls.
At an elevator, Daniella put in a code, and the doors opened. She reached out to hold the doors with the stretch of her arm.
“This is where we part, Carmen. Eric will take care of you from here. He is your personal guard and will follow you around as your guide shows you to different rooms.”
“Yes. When the elevator doors open, the first person you’ll see is Eric. The only time you’ll hear his voice is to make sure you are who you’re supposed to be.”
“Who am I supposed to be?”
Daniella smiled and took note of the nervousness in my voice.
“You’re Carmen, and here at The Den, you’re anyone you want to be.”
“Oh.” I calmed a bit. “I knew that.”
Her smile grew. “You’re in perfect hands with Eric. If at any time you need something beyond the instructions I’ve given you, you can allow him to speak.”
“Allow him to speak?”
“Yes. As I said before, he is there only to provide you with solace and security. He will give you a guide. It’s an electronic device that will light your pathway. You’ll follow the path, and when you find the room you’d like to relax inside, you’ll hit the green button on the guide. If you don’t, a path will continue to light up until you’ve found your space.
From there you can pick your entertainer. There’s a no-groping rule. As with any entertainment industry, you can’t touch the men. You have to respect them at all times. The only time that changes is if your entertainer initiates the touch and you accept it, understand?”
“Loud and clear,” I said. “I have a question.”
“Why do I need security? Isn’t this place safe?”
“It is. However, we’ve found that women avoid places like this when coming alone more often than not. Sometimes, for fear that an entertainer or a patron they cross paths with might get out of hand. To calm your fears that would never happen at The Den, but we’ve provided personal security for our guests, nonetheless.”
She smiled, and I eased onto the elevator.
Turning to face me, Daniella dropped her arm and stepped out of the way of the closing doors. “Have a good evening and enjoy your stay.”
Inside, my pulse sped up but not to the acceleration that I expected. Daniella’s rules calmed me a bit. They gave me the serenity that this experience was in my hands. The guard, the initiation, all of it signified a well-put-together understanding that was meant to make both me and my dancer relaxed.
I could dig it.
The doors opened to a beautiful dark cinnamon giant, and I was instantly aroused by the sheer magnitude of his demeanor. He stood taller than the elevator doors with a bare chiseled chest and intense gray eyes. His lips and nose were hidden behind the pharaoh’s headdress covering his face complete with the ancient monarch’s mask. A gold slab of jewelry sat on his muscular shoulders, and his thick corded biceps spoke to the dominance he wielded.
“Good God,” I whispered–heart racing as heat swirled in layers over my skin.
My eyes fluttered over his physique, to the faux leopard skin that adorned his powerful waist and thighs, covering whatever magnificence that was veiled between his legs from me. On his feet were gold and bronze gladiator shoes. He was dressed as if he were headed for battle to take back his throne–minus the staff that stood at his side in the strength of his grip.
I wasn’t prepared for the way his baritone drummed my alias. My pussy jolted immediately, and I had to wonder if he had always been such a damn warrior. I’d decided while looking over him again that no man on this earth could be as magnificent as him.
He was built like a superhero. Luke Cage, from Marvel. That superhero. I took my eyes over him again. Not even Luke Cage was as domineering as he. If Luke had an older brother, it would be him—Cain. I nodded. Yes, he would be my personal superhero Cain. If this was what the guard looked like, what the hell would the entertainers look like?
He held his arm out to keep the doors from closing then handed me a device I suspected was the guide.
He tilted his head, and that gray gaze drove over me slow. My nipples were hard as rocks now. Without knowing what his face looked like, I knew Eric would probably be the finest man I’d ever seen in my life.
I was supposed to follow a path, yet I couldn’t take my eyes off of Cain or Eric. I smirked. I wondered if he’d feel a way if I called him Cain. This was all about fantasy, right?
I exited the elevator slow, but still, I ended up mixing with his shadow in the breadth of his chest.
His eyes traveled over me again, then his shoulders rose as if he’d taken a deep breath.
With our eyes on each other and no one speaking, Cain, I meant, Eric lifted his arm and motioned to the marble floor that was lit up red.
I swallowed. “Oh. Thanks. It’s my first time here, can’t you tell?”
I glanced back at him, and he tilted his head again in response. I can’t lie. Something about his silent submission did make my pussy tingle a little. What did that make me? A dominant? I chuckled, thinking about it.
I was as coy as there could be in the bedroom, which begged the question of why I was here.
But the more I hung on to Eric’s masculine scent, and we made our way down the dark hallway, the more I wanted to find out.