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Mary Blakely has no recollection of how she ended up with a whip-wielding stranger in a hotel room she doesn’t recognize. What she does know is that she cannot seem to resist the gorgeous man’s orders. In fact, Mary is sinfully attracted to him and at his mercy—she’s trying to remember why that’s a bad thing.
Axel Remington has wanted Mary since he was a teenager. But as a poor maid’s son, Axel didn’t have anything to offer the rich and gorgeous Mary Blakely. He’s older now, and a whole lot richer. Finally, he has the headstrong woman right where he wants her. Once he’s had his fill of her he’ll walk away and never look back.
Or so that was the plan. The instant his mouth touches hers, Axel learns just how hard it’s going to be let Mary go.
She’d tracked him down like a freaking stalker. It was degrading and pathetic the lengths a woman would go for love.
“Damn. It was so much easier being a spoiled, selfish bitch,” she mused aloud, as she stared at the office building.
Laurey Technologies. Laurey. The name of the pond they’d skinny-dipped in. She found that curiously romantic, but she refused to read too much into it. It could be a simple coincidence. Mary wasn’t sure if Axel owned the company or was just an employee. It didn’t matter. His station in life was of little importance. She only cared about the man himself.
He was in there somewhere. Doing what, she still wasn’t sure. It was all a mystery. She could care less, to be honest. All she wanted was to see Axel.
It’d been two months since she’d walked out on him in Sun City. Since that time, she’d gotten a secretarial job at a car insurance company. A friend had recommended it. She was on the bottom of the totem pole, but at least she was on the totem pole. She also had a car. A car she was paying for. It wasn’t anything to write home about, but it was hers. The best part was paying for her condo. No more relying on mommy and daddy. No more flying all over the world. She was settled. Well, as settled as she’d ever be. No girl wanted to be completely rid of adventure.
Which brought her back to Axel.
She checked her makeup and hair one more time. Glad to see the humid heat hadn’t frizzed her long red locks too badly. Thank God for mousse. Her outfit wasn’t anything special, but it was the cutest thing she owned. A floral sundress with spaghetti straps and a flirty skirt that sat just above the knee. Slip on white sandals and she was complete.
The first month with no money forced Mary to sell a bunch of her clothes to a consignment shop to pay the rent. It had been humiliating to realize she had nothing to show for her life, save for some pretty outfits and nice jewelry.
Her mother had balked, wanting her to keep the clothes. She’d told Mary that by getting the job, it was enough for her to see she was trying. Mary wouldn’t hear of it. If she was going to finally own up to her life, she needed to do it right. So, some of the clothes were sold and some jewelry too. She’d made her second month’s rent on her own, without selling anything. There was one last thing left to do.
It hadn’t taken long to locate him. New York City, New York. She’d printed out directions using an internet map site, then asked her boss for a few personal days. She decided to take Friday and Monday off. That gave her enough time to drive to New York, profess her love, and hope he hadn’t already moved on to someone else. Someone with a little less baggage.
“Ready or not, here I come,” she mumbled and left the Ford Escort behind.
She walked with her back straight and head high to the front doors of the huge building. She was relieved to see the air was cooler inside. August weather in New York was a bitch.
She strode right up to the receptionist and tapped on the desk to get the girl’s attention off her instant messenger.
“Can I help you?”
“I was hoping,” Mary said with a pleasant smile that belied her fluttery stomach. “Could you tell me where Axel Remington is, please?” She’d even said please. Quite the improvement if she did say so herself.
“He’s in a meeting right now. Is he expecting you?”
Mary laughed, drawing the attention of several men who stood around in the lobby. “I doubt it, sweetie, but if you’ll tell me which floor I’d like to surprise him.” She winked at the younger woman, which earned her a gum-smacking conspiratorial grin in return.
“He’s on floor twenty-two, suite sixty-nine.”
Sixty-nine. Now why did that not surprise her? She thanked the girl and walked to the elevator. When the door dinged, Mary stepped inside. The two other men in the elevator came to attention at her presence, standing a little straighter and smiling flirtatiously. Both pairs of male eyes roamed over her figure. Mary rolled her eyes and pushed the button for Axel’s floor. When the doors opened, she was only too relieved to escape the two barracudas.
She looked around and spotted a sign that indicated suite nineteen was to the right. She went to the right. Two doors down, she found what she was looking for. Mary shored up her courage, flung open the door, and stepped inside.
The room fell silent so fast one would have thought she was about to announce a hostage situation. What appeared to be at least fifty men in business suits turned and stared. Some of their mouths gapped open. Some lewdly gave her body the once over. She didn’t see Axel anywhere and she was the only woman in the room. Eww.
“Uh, excuse me, I think I’ve got the wrong office,” she quickly apologized. Mary started to back out of the room when she saw Axel come to his feet. He was at the head of the oval table and he looked positively edible in his black Armani. His forever-rumpled black hair and piercing blue eyes gave him a devilish air. He towered over the other men in the room and put every single one of them to shame with his sheer size and masculinity. They looked like little boys next to him. God, she wanted him.
“You’ve got the right room,” he said, his voice a whip of command. “The meeting’s over for today. We’ll reschedule.”
The mass of men filed quietly out of the room, some sparing her a glance of sorrow, some merely curious. She gulped when she looked back up at Axel and saw his expression. He wasn’t angry. He was livid. Cold fury radiated off him. She felt it even from a distance.
She straightened her spine and closed the door behind her. “Hi,” she mumbled.
He moved around the end of the table, slowly coming toward her as if approaching a wild tiger. “Mary,” he growled. Only her name and she melted.
He had a kind of power over her and it frightened her. Not enough that she would run away. Not ever again. Her future may still be uncertain, but she would meet it head on. Axel just happened to be a very big part of it too.
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Yes, Master--February 26th!