I believe that inside every strong woman is a little girl. One who longs to be cared for.
Protected, spoiled, cherished.
I’d go one step further to say that hiding within the heart of some women is a baby girl.
One who longs for a man—a big strong man who she knows she can always count on no matter what. One who would lay down his life to protect her. A man who will guide her and correct her.
And when she’s very naughty, take her over his knee and spank her.
Call it kink, call it taboo, call it what you will but it’s a power exchange older than time; a daddy and his baby girl.
Men like me have a deep yearning woven into the fibers of our being. When we find our baby girl, we want to be her protector and her hero.
We long to have her arms around our necks, whispering words of love and devotion. Her body tight against ours as we give her pleasure she didn’t know was possible. We want her adoration.
I want my girl to think I hung the moon in the night sky.
I want her to know that I’d do anything to bring a smile to her face.
I want my baby girl to know that everything I do, I do it for her.
I’ve finally found that girl. But my soul won’t be satisfied until I hear her say that one magical word.
Always the bridesmaid, never the bride. Hell—I didn’t even get to be a bridesmaid this time. Charlotte was whisked away from Bachman’s Jewelers and married so fast there wasn’t time to change my underwear before she became Mrs. Bachman.
Do I truly envy her—a young girl forced into marriage upon threat of death?
Because everything worth anything in this world is within the four walls of the Bachman family’s secret Village. It’s a hidden town right smack in the middle of New York City. The billionaire family runs the most powerful and secretive mafia in the world. And I have to find a way in.
Or die trying.
I know I am destined to be a wife in their prestigious, powerful mafia; a Bachman Beauty, as the women refer to themselves. There’s only one hang-up—a woman only gets to be a part of the family through marriage. And no man from the Bachman Brotherhood has shown me any interest.
I blame it on lack of exposure. Lucky to be hired four years ago as a counter girl for the Bachman family’s high end jewelry store, I’m grateful for my job, but there’s a shortage of eligible bachelors coming my way. The men I meet are already head over heels for the one woman they’ve come to buy bling for.
Maybe I should consider a different job.
The sound of the ding of the store’s bell, the one attached to the door—the same one that’s been ringing in my ear for four long years—rips me from my planning.
Rockland, the god of the mafia and the head of the Bachman family, fills the doorframe.
Dread weighs in my gut—I know exactly why he’s here.
He’s going to fire me.
Almost a year ago, out of the blue I got a phone call from an old high school friend, Charlotte Greene. Desperate to get within the walls of the Village to surprise her lifelong crush, a man she knew from her small hometown, she asked me to help her.
I used my keycard to unlock the back door to the shop, but that’s as far as I could get her. The stores on this block all belong to the Bachmans, and all have a gate behind them that you have to have a fingerprint code to open. That leads to a second gate. Charlotte had some insane plan to get in, but was caught by guards in the process.
She was lucky they didn’t kill her—instead they gave Eli, the man she was stalking, an ultimatum.
Marry Charlotte and make her one of us. Or she will never truly be safe.
It all worked out in the end when she and Eli wed in secret, then months later, Eli grew to love Charlotte as much as she did him. My friend secured herself a pretty little happily ever after in the process, but that doesn’t let me off the hook.
I stand straighter, swallowing down my nerves. “Good morning, Mr. Bachman. How may I help you?”
He gives me a short nod. “Victoria, I’ll make this quick.”
It’s only when I hear the terseness in his voice that I realize today is the day I’ve been dreading ever since helping Charlotte; the day he finally gets rid of my ass.
Behind Rockland stands a perky brunette with a friendly, open smile. Despite her good humor, a hint of guilt shadows her brown eyes.
Panic grips me as I realize who she is.
I rush over to him from behind the counter. “Please don’t fire me! I know what I did to help Charlotte was wrong, but can’t you find it in your heart to forgive me? And hasn’t it all worked out so nicely, with her marrying Eli?”
He shakes his head and the woman gives me a sympathetic gaze. “I’m sorry. You’ve been an invaluable employee to the family, up until your misjudgment. I can’t have anyone within my employ whom I don’t trust.”
Alarm bells ring in my mind—I’m screwed.
My mom told me the day I turned eighteen that I was an adult and basically kicked me out. I’ve had no other job than this. I have no prospects for a new one. And no one pays like the Bachman family.
I plead my case. “But I never went to college, I came straight here out of high school. I have no other experience than working your counters and I highly doubt any other jeweler out there will hire me when they hear I’ve been fired.”
He says, “I’ve taken these facts into consideration. As well as your years of loyalty to the family. That’s why I’ve arranged for you to have another job. One where your pay will be generous, the tips ludicrous. You’ll probably earn twice what you’ve earned here. But you won’t be working for the family.”
My panic ebbs as Rockland’s words brew curiosity within me. Visions of an apartment with its own private bathroom—one large enough that I can’t reach out and touch all four walls when I’m standing in the center of it—swirl in my mind.
What place could possibly pay so well? I ask, “Where?”
“Gotcha’s. The Bachman-friendly night club down the street was looking for a bartender. They know I trust you—as much as I can, now—and I’ve told them you’re a hard worker. They’re excited to have you on board. Your training begins in two days’ time.”
I can’t believe my luck!
Throw me in a pumpkin carriage and call me Cinderella because Rockland’s my fairy godfather, granting the wish I made just moments before.
It seems like more than coincidence; can there be such a thing as fate, an invisible energy swirling around me, helping bring me closer to my ultimate goal? Good fortune ties my tongue as I try to stammer out, “I-I don’t know what to say.”
A smile from Rockland is rare; the grin on his face tells me all is forgiven. “Say thank you. And say you’ll take the rest of your time here to train Charlie as your replacement.”
My livelihood is safe. The next step on my journey has begun. Able to breathe again, I gush, “Thank you. And yes, of course I will.”
Charlie hovers by the door wringing her hands. “I’m really sorry that I’m taking your job, I feel awful.”
I give her a reassuring smile. “Don’t be. It was time for a change. Your first lesson? How to close up for the night. Go ahead and lock the door and change the sign over so we can get to work.”
Charlie rushes over to the door, locking it, then flips the sign over to read Closed. Her skirts swish as she moves. Planting her back firmly against the door, she brings her hands to her heart. “That was easy. Now, tell me everything I need to know!”
Breezing over to my favorite case in the store, I pull out a small black velvet tray dotted with brilliant engagement rings. One day soon, I hope to have my left hand weighed down by a piece of this ice. “Let’s start with the diamonds.”
We go through three cases. Charlie is a fast learner and eager to please. We agree to meet in the morning, before the store opens so we can go over a few more gemstones prior to her shadowing me for the day.
As we’re leaving, Charlie grabs both my hands in hers. “Thank you for everything. And I have a message.”
I groan, “Please don’t let it be from Rockland. I don’t think I can handle any more news from him today.”
“Not him.” She waggles her brows. “A friend. A recently married one?”
I smile, thinking of my quirky, sweet friend with the innocent blonde curls. “Oh—what does she say?”
She whispers even though we are the only two around, “She says… Gotcha.”
I laugh at the silly message. “I guess Charlotte pulled a few strings for me with Rockland?”
Charlie nods eagerly, excited to be in on the delivery. “Yes. She felt terrible about you being fired because of her. She wanted to be sure Rockland would find you a job somewhere—and these are her words, not mine—somewhere that you’d still have access to Bachman man meat, in the hopes that with a bit of luck maybe you’ll be neighbors one day.”
I allow myself to picture it, me and Charlotte with the other Beauties, visiting one another in the spacious row homes that line the perfectly manicured streets of their secret world. It’s a world within a world, hidden behind the walls of the shops they own.
I breathe the name like a prayer. “The Village.”
“Isn’t a home in the Village the ultimate goal of every girl in New York?” Charlie asks.
“Every girl that’s got the Bachman bug running through her blood,” I say.
She laughs. “The Bachman bug—I like that. I had it once and now I’m one of the lucky ones.”
I admit, “I may have my own case.”
A bad one.
On the scale of severity, I think my case might be dire. The Bachman bug runs strong through my veins, my blood coursing with desire for camaraderie, couture, and class.
My heart beats to the steady hymn, Bachman Beauty, Bachman Beauty.
My case is special, different from those of the other, desperate girls like me, the ones that want in those walls more than they want breath in their lungs.
There’s one strange thing setting me apart.
I don’t want the man.
I’ve seen my mother trudge her way through too many assholes to desire one of my own.
In my experience, love is for fools. Play with the fires of the heart and you’re going to get a third-degree burn.
I don’t want to fall in love.
And marriage—I wish there was a way to infiltrate the Bachmans without it. I’ll play the part to get what I want but it’s not the wedding I’m after.
Or the money.
Or the prestige that comes with being a member of the world’s most powerful mafia.
There is only one reason I want to be a Bachman.
I simply long to be a Beauty.
Just watching those lucky women walk by the store makes an aching loneliness throb deep within my chest. They breeze by my window in flocks, shopping bags by their sides, smiles on their faces. Arms slung around shoulders. They are so happy, so confident in one another’s company that I can’t help but picture myself among them.
They come into the jewelers together, huddled in little packs, laughing and giggling over silly inside jokes. They smile at me, speak politely, ask how my day is going. Then turn their attentions back within their tribe, holding earrings up to each other’s lobes, complimenting one another’s purchases.
They are the ultimate picture of a strong woman. Once you are in their fold, you are instantly accepted as one of them.
There is no room for jealousy between them; they’re too close to make room for the ugly green-eyed monster to squeeze into their ranks.
Growing up, I always had a close circle of girlfriends. We keep in touch, but life has scattered us our separate ways. I miss that closeness you can only have in the presence of your very best girls.
My mother was indifferent toward me, often leaving me with a babysitter so she could go out with her latest man. I think she loved me, at least until I grew curves and her boyfriends suddenly began giving me their unwanted attentions.
Which sparked a gross jealousy in her. No mother should envy her daughter in that way.
To this day I still think the main reason that she kicked me out at eighteen was because she didn’t want any competition around. Not that I tried to compete, even for a second.
I never wanted what she had.
If I ever have a daughter, I promise myself things will be different. That I will adore her, love her, and above all else, protect her. No man will ever come between us.
The Bachmans value their strong family ties above all else. And the women are the ties that bind. I crave their lives and the fierce and total loyalty and devotion they offer one another.
The camaraderie of these women, to belong to their tight-knit pack is my only dream. And I know in order to get what I want, I must catch a Bachman man.
And so I will.
But I am certain of one thing; I will not be falling in love in the process.
One more drink to serve and then I’m calling it quits for the night. Pouring a shot from a hundred-dollar bottle of bourbon, I slide it across the bar top. “Here you go. One for the road.”
My patron snorts. “For the road? I don’t think so. I’m not going anywhere.”
I wipe down the bar. “I’m sorry, sir, but we have a strict policy not to over serve.”
“Since when do you thugs care about upholding the law?” He’s drunk, and if I didn’t already know he was an undercover agent, he’s about to give himself away with his liquor-loosened tongue.
Scrubbing over a stubborn, sticky spot on the bar top, I say, “I have no idea what you mean. I’m just a bartender.”
“That’s what the hoodlums of the Bachman Brotherhood say.” He lifts his hands, making air quotes as he speaks in a condescending tone. “I’m just an accountant. I’m just a stockbroker. Like you need to pack heat to crunch numbers. I don’t think so.”
Giving a bored shrug, I say, “I don’t make the rules. I just follow them.”
Rage flashes in his eyes. He leans across the bar, grabs the collar of my shirt, and pulls me toward him. “Follow them blindly? Doing Rockland Bachman’s dirty work for him? Never questioning who you’re killing in the process?”
Playing it cool, I count to five in my head and wait for him to release me. There’s no need to cause a scene. He’ll be leaving soon. He’s always gone by closing time; the copious amounts of liquor seem to hit him all at once, making him sway as he exits the bar.
Besides, I’m being paid to keep the scenes to a minimum. How would it look to my boss if I knocked this guy out cold?
As much as I may want to.
When I reach the number five in my mind, he releases me. I go back to mopping my bar. “I don’t have the slightest clue what you’re talking about.”
He slumps back down in his seat, seeing that I’m not going to rise to a fight. “They killed my brother.”
I don’t bother asking why.
If the Bachman mafia murdered his brother, it was for a good reason. Their Robin Hood-style crime ring only targets the selfish, corrupt abusers of power who keep the endless cycle of poverty alive in order to keep themselves rich. The Bachmans take that money, double it, and redistribute the wealth amongst the poor.
The man who sits before me is Theodore Tompkins—otherwise known as Theo. He never should have been put on the case of his brother’s murder, but he must have pulled some strings. It was a bad call on the part of whatever government agency he works for because his pain has driven him to drinking.
And talking. So much so that if he doesn’t shut up soon, his own guys might get rid of him before Rockland does.
He’s in his late twenties. About my age. We’re the same build and height. Both with sandy brown hair that could use a haircut. We even both have green eyes. It kind of makes me feel for the guy. I’m sure when he joined the force, he wanted to do the right thing, protect his country.
He probably had no idea when he signed up that there were a few bad dudes mixed in the rank, who were willing to ruin it for everyone else. Unbeknownst to Theo, his brother, Thomas, was such a man.
I know how Thomas died. I even know what his last words were. Revealing none of this information, I pour a tall glass of ice water, setting it in front of him. “Drink.”
At first, he refuses. But then he comes to his senses, downing the contents of the glass. “I should get home.”
“Want me to call you a cab?” I ask.
“I need the fresh air.” He gives me one last pissed-off look as he heads out of the bar.
Theo has been alone the past few weeks, but when he first showed up, he’d been working with another agent, Jet—a tall man with dark hair. Jet was amiable, sharp, and not emotionally invested in the case. Theo must have kicked him to the curb.
If Theo asked for my opinion, I’d tell him he’s treading awfully close to a breakdown and he ought to let Jet take over. But with Jet on the case, the agency might actually get somewhere in their investigation, so I keep my opinions to myself.
Victoria, our newest bartender, comes over to me. It’s only her second week on the floor, but she’s already a pro and the customers love her. With a frown on her face, she watches Theo stumble from the bar. “Him again? He’s been here every night I’ve worked. He’s always alone.”
“And always leaves piss drunk.” As the words leave my mouth, I watch Theo trip, bumping into one of the wives of the mafia. Her young husband’s jaw clenches, and he makes a move toward Theo. “Oh, shit. That’s not good.”
“What?” Victoria stands on tiptoe, craning her neck to see what I see. She’s so tiny, I can’t seem to get used to her small stature.
“He’s rammed into a Beauty. I’ll be right back.” I race out to the dance floor, luckily getting to Theo before the offended husband does.
Taking the agent’s arm, I escort him to the door before a fight can arise. I arrange a car to take him to his hotel. In the morning when he’s sober, he’ll have to suffer through the embarrassment of knowing that I know where he’s staying during his investigation. And that a car from the family he’s supposed to be infiltrating did him the favor of driving him home.
Reentering the bar, I walk by the couple, joking to lighten the mood, “Sorry about that. Some people just can’t handle their liquor, can they?”
Returning to Victoria, we stand side by side, behind the bar. We watch the handsome couple twirl across the floor as they squeeze in one final dance before the music disappears. The Beauties out on a Girls’ Night Out get in one last round of drinks.
Victoria rests her elbow on the bar, sighing wistfully. “Would you ever join their ranks?”
Looking away, I answer, “Me? I don’t know.”
She murmurs softly, “I would. In a second.”
My gaze floats over Victoria. With her womanly curves, long dark hair, and those piercing aquamarine eyes of hers, she could easily pass for a Bachman Beauty. She’s a bit on the short side, but it’s nothing a pair of high heels couldn’t fix. “You’d fit right in.”
She heaves a sigh. “I wish.”
I joke, “Is it the money you’re after?”
A pretty pink blush rises in her cheeks and she looks away from the couple. “No. It’s not that.”
I crack a smile. “What is it, then? Those gorgeous tattoos that you’re always complimenting their men about?”
She shakes her head, my teasing embarrassing her. “It’s silly.”
I soften my tone. “Tell me. I won’t judge you.”
“It’s… the friendship.” She points to a dark corner of the club.
There’s a group of Beauties in a tight-knit group, shaking their hips, their arms circled around one another as they laugh and dance.
“Ah, the famous Bachman Beauties,” I say.
She says, “They just seem so close.”
“Looks like fun,” I say.
“It’s more than that. Strong women taking care of one another and raising one another up, instead of cutting each other down with their jealous words.” She looks at me, horrified as if she’s exposed herself. “Ugh. I can’t believe I said all that out loud. I’ll shut up now.”
My gaze lingers on her face, wondering what kind of life she’s had. Who’s hurt her in the past? Why is she feels so lonely now?
But it’s not my business, is it?
I’m only the bartender.
Five weeks I’ve been working. And five weeks I’ve gone without a single pickup line. Tonight is no different.
How can it be that out of the dozens of gorgeous, available men I’ve served, not one has asked me out? I’ve flirted, made eyes at them, complimented their tattoos. They all just smile politely, leave a generous tip, and walk away.
There must be something wrong with me.
Making sure no one’s looking, I take a quick whiff beneath my arm. Vanilla and rosewater. I smell fine, so it can’t be body odor driving them away.
Excusing myself from the bar, I rush to the bathroom to check my makeup. My taupe shimmery eyeshadow and deep brown eyeliner are still intact, making my aqua eyes pop. Even after a few hours of work, my long dark hair is still smooth and straight.
Grabbing at my top, I adjust the material, twisting my bra a bit and perking up the girls. Smoothing down my short skirt, I decide that I look fine, better than usual, actually, thanks to my new salary. I’m able to afford salon visits, manicures, and clothes that didn’t come of the clearance rack.
So why can’t I get a second glance?
The only man that’s said more than two words to me in the last five weeks is Luke, my co-worker. We stand side by side all night, mixing drinks and pouring beers. Jokes and light conversation casually shifting between us as we work.
He’s a handsome man with light brown shaggy hair and green eyes. Maybe five or six years older than me. Muscled and strong, but in that long, lean, kick your ass with karate way. Not in the steroid taking, deadlift your girlfriend as a party trick kind of way.
The space behind the bar is pretty tight. Often times while we’re working, his arm will brush mine when he reaches over me to get something. Or he’ll come behind me, grab me around my waist, and move me to the side so he can get into the fridge beneath the counter.
Somehow, I’m always blocking that damn fridge.
He’s got this commanding presence about him. He can stop a fight with a few words, or sometimes, just by standing nearby.
And there’s a hint of something softer beneath his hard exterior. You can tell he’s a guy who would protect his girl at all costs and spoil the hell out of her while he’s at it.
Luke makes me feel safe. As if he’s looking out for me.
Returning from the restroom, I slide back behind the bar and joke, “Did you miss me?”
Luke’s eyes lock on mine, holding my gaze. “Always.”
My breath catches in my throat at his honest response.
“That’s nice.” Those bottle-green eyes scorch me down to my soul. I clear my throat, looking down at the bar.
When has a look from a guy ever turned my knees to jelly and made my panties melt like they’re doing right now? I find my gaze lingering on Luke.
Luckily, a customer approaches the bar, distracting me. It’s one of the Brothers from the Parrish, the family’s private island off the coast of Greece. The family moves back and forth between their three homesteads, but I can tell this man was initiated at the Parrish because he’s marked with the swirl of a black tattoo beneath the sleeve of his tight tee shirt.
He speaks with a thick accent. “Can I get a whiskey?”
“Of course.” He’s handsome and tanned and I give him a seductive smile as I pour his drink. “I love your tattoo by the way.”
Not bothering to answer me, he gives a nod to Luke. He takes the glass from me without a second glance and says, “Put it on my tab.”
I know I’m not a supermodel by any means, but the rejection is starting to make me feel like I’m revolting the opposite sex. Frustrated, I turn to Luke. “Can I ask you something?”
“Anything.” He stares at me attentively, waiting to hear what I have to say.
Resting against the counter behind the bar, I cross my arms over my chest and release an exasperated sigh. “What’s wrong with me?”
Picking me up, he moves me to the right and puts me back down. “Other than the fact that you stand in front of the fridge all night and I can never get in there?”
“Sorry. I don’t know why I keep doing that. No—what’s wrong with me… as a woman?”
He eyes me up and down in a way that makes me blush. “Nothing wrong with you as far as I can see. What do you mean?”
“Not one single Bachman man will give me the time of day. I’m flirting my little heart out and it amounts to nothing. Nada. Zilch. Zero. Not a single wink or smile or even a how are you doing.”
Now he’s moving closer. The clean scent of his cologne reaches me and there’s that look again, the smoldering, sexy one that spreads a warmth through my stomach, traveling between my thighs. Making a heavy aching in my core.
He says, “Maybe you’re flirting with the wrong men.”
“Am I?” I move a few inches away from him, hoping distance will relieve me of his spell.
His eyes cut to mine. “Or, maybe it’s something else.”
“Something else? Like what?” Is that guilt I’m sensing on his face?
His gaze locks on mine as if sending me a message. “Maybe someone warned them off you.”
He moves in closer, till he’s standing only inches from me. His panther-like stance, the way he’s moving in as if he has some type of ownership over me, the stormy clouds gathering in his eyes; all signs point to him being the one to keep these men away.
I’m sure I’m on the right path but when I say the words out loud, they sound almost ridiculous. “Did you—say something? To keep the men away?”
He gives a shrug. “Maybe I did.”
So, he did scare the eligible bachelors off!
All my contouring and blowouts and padded bras and squeezing into uncomfortable dresses for nothing. He’s sabotaged me. Anger rises in me, burning hot. “Why would you do that, Luke?”
He gives a shrug, as if bored by the conversation, disinterested in my livelihood. “It was the right thing to do. I was doing my job and keeping the Brothers out of trouble.”
“You think I’m trouble?” My temper flares. I look for the closest weapon. The soda water sprayer. I grab it, holding it up to his face. “Tell me what you said to them. Right now. Or so help me God, you’re going to be one very wet bartender.”
He narrows his eyes. “You wouldn’t dare, little girl.”
“Wouldn’t I?” I hold it closer to him, my hands shaking with rage. I aim it at his shirt.
“I’m warning you, Victoria. Pull that trigger and you’re going to one sorry little girl.” He raises one dark brow and his gaze is so threatening, a trill of fear shoots through me.
What would he do to me?
He can’t do anything to me. And he deserves a good soaking. I pull the trigger. The water shoots out, hitting him in the chest and soaking his shirt.
I give a laugh at my little prank, but when I see the look on his face, it lodges in my throat. He’s furious. I’ve crossed a line.
Setting the sprayer down, I back away from Luke, suddenly scared of him.
He grabs my arm, bringing my ear to his mouth. Leaning down, he growls, “I’m going to spank your ass, then you’re going to be one very wet bartender.”
“You’re going to—spank me?” Fear and shock run through me, a white heat covering my face. He can’t be serious, can he?
“That’s what happens to little girls that act like brats. They get their asses spanked till they’re crying and apologizing.” He tugs my arm hard, pulling me into the storeroom.
He shuts the door behind us. The other door, the one that leads to the alley where we keep the dumpsters, is cracked, letting in the cool night air. He releases my arm but before I can make a run for it, he’s got his foot propped up on a cart and me bent over his hard thigh.
It’s all happening so fast I can barely think. The only words in my mind seem to be ‘I’m going to spank your ass,’ running on repeat. When I finally wake up the connection from my brain to my tongue, I lash out. “What the hell do you think you’re doing? Let me go, right now!”
But I’m already hanging over his leg, my hair around my face, my toes barely reaching the floor. Being in this position, it’s so humiliating; the man has full control over me.
And he’s going to spank me like a naughty little girl.
His hand comes down on my bottom and the pain is more than I could have imagined. I’m shocked at how quickly it spreads over me. “Ow! That hurt.”
“Maybe you’ll think twice, next time you want to spray me with water.” He spanks me hard, once on both cheeks, the thin fabric of my skirt offering me little protection.
“You deserved it!” I shriek, trying to wriggle from his grasp.
He tightens his hold around my waist, making it impossible to get away. “And you deserve this.” He brings his hand down again, spanking the curves of my bottom with hard, stinging smacks.
“Ow! Please stop!” I wriggle harder, to no avail. “This is not an appropriate response to a little prank!”
“It was disrespectful.” He spanks me hard and fast, right cheek, left cheek, over and over again.
He yanks up my skirt. The cool air caresses the tops of my thighs.
“Ow! I am sorry.” And I am. But mostly because my ass is in so much pain and he’s pulled up my tiny skirt, exposing my panties. The spraying him with water part still gives me some satisfaction.
“I don’t think you’re sorry at all, little girl. Let’s get these panties down and see if we can get you to a place of regret.”
He’s going to pull my panties down? Exposing my ass and who knows what else he’ll be able to see… no way in hell can I let this happen. “If you touch my panties, so help me God, I’ll tell Rockland and he’ll fire you so fast—”
He snaps, “Tell Rockland what you did and see if he doesn’t take you over his own knee.”
Ice forms in my stomach. I’m helpless and at his mercy. He’s too strong for me to get away. I have no viable threat to stop him… his fingers are creeping under the elastic waist of my panties.
It’s humiliating, I feel a deep sense of shame and dread heavy in my core. But as he rolls my panties down, exposing my bare skin, I feel something else.
A pulsing throb in my pussy. A dampening in the gusset of the panties I’m about to lose; I am one very wet bartender, as Luke promised I would be. I’m so turned on, my nipples are hardened to tight little peaks. My breaths come in fast, short bursts. How will it feel like to have his hand spank my bare bottom?
I find out all too soon. He brings his hand down, spanking my ass. The fire is even more intense without the protection of my panties. I have to end this—I must convince him that I’m sorry. “It won’t happen again. I swear! I’ll be good.”
He snorts. “You? You’ll be a good girl? I have my doubts.”
“Why?” As the spanks rain down, I consider begging.
“You’ve got to get that temper under control in order to be a good girl. You think you can do that?” He spanks me again.
I try to answer but before I can find the words, the alleyway door bursts open.
Luke has my panties snapped into place, my skirt down, and me thrown behind his back so fast it’s as if he’s got supernatural powers. I peek over his shoulders to find two large men, a bit of a Bachman Parrish tattoo sticking out from their shirts, holding a third man between them.
Luke says, “What the hell are you doing here?”
The taller one eyes me, then answers Luke. “Boss’s orders. What’s she doing here?”
The man in the middle looks from me to Luke, terror in his eyes.
Luke says, “Just a little staff training.”
The second Brother makes a sound as if he’s holding in a laugh. I feel my cheeks go red.
The first man says to Luke, “He’s seen her. If anything were to go wrong—she’s going to be in danger until we take care of it.”
“Take care of what?” I ask. I think of the man—the desperate look in his eyes. “Are you going to kill him?”
Luke says, “I’ve got to get her out of here. I’ll take her to mine for the night, just to be sure.”
Big man gives a nod of agreement.
Luke looks at me. “You’re coming with me.”
“Excuse me? Don’t I have a say in this?” I protest.
Luke gives me a gaze that reminds me of my throbbing ass and makes my mouth snap shut. Without answering me, he takes my hand. Just grabs it up in his massive one like he owns me.
We leave the storeroom via the alleyway door, walking past the three men. My shoulder brushes against one of the Brothers and it sends a chill down my spine.
Once we’re alone in the alleyway, I ask, “What was that? What was happening?”
Luke says, “You’ve worked for the family long enough to know not to stick your nose where it doesn’t belong. Don’t ask.”
His stern words give me a little shiver. Trying to gain some control of the situation, I tug at my hand, wanting to untangle it from his. “Fine, but shouldn’t you be asking me if I want to spend the night at your apartment?”
“Absolutely not.” He holds my hand tighter. “You’ve already shown once tonight that your temper leads you to make bad choices.”
I want to argue, to snap back, but my ass is still sore, and… it feels nice, him holding my hand in his.
And in that moment with the pad of his thumb stroking the back of my hand as we walk down the city sidewalk, I come to a sudden, shocking realization; I want to fuck this man.