Authors: Diana Steele
This book contains sexually explicit scenes and adult language. It may be considered offensive to some readers. This book is for sale to adults ONLY.
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This book is a work of fiction. The characters, incidents and dialogue are drawn from the author’s imagination and are not to be construed as real. While reference might be made to actual historical events or existing locations, the names, characters, places and incidents are either products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, business establishments, events or locales is entirely coincidental.
Please don’t be stupid and kill yourself. This book is a work of FICTION. Do not try any new sexual practice that you find in this book. It is fiction and not to be confused with reality. Neither the author nor the publisher or its associates assume any responsibility for any loss, injury, death or legal consequences resulting from acting on the contents in this book. Every character in this book is over 18 years of age. The author’s opinions are not to be construed as the opinions of the publisher. The material in this book is for entertainment purposes ONLY. Enjoy.
Why are human beings always fascinated with the things in this world that harms them? Whether it be a creature, the ubiquitous threat of poisonous foods or disease, or even a person—the things that are the most dangerous are those we desire most. Bella was no different. Even when she observed the mean streak within Darque, the attraction never ceased—despite the instances in which he berated her for asking personal questions, though it was her job. He was still a powerful man, still charming, and with an air of invincibility about him. His facial features were certainly never compromised; dark, haunting eyes and black as night hair. It was styled in a manner that spoke as honestly as a politician. The world around her, it seemed, was evolving fast. Whereas being cruel to others and covering up facts used to be perceived as a character flaw, it’s not what permeated the national consciousness. Senator Darque was running for president. Humility and qualifications were secondary, because someone could be hired to clean up the low morality of the Darque clan—specifically Bastien, an enigma of a man who had been accused of horrible travesties, and yet, a man that women could not quit.
Bella chomped down a hamburger while thinking of her new boss, always aware of the slow poison these artificial foods contained. W
hy do we keep doing what we know isn’t safe,
she thought as she finished the burger save for the crust.
Maybe I could quit Darque, too, before I get too emotionally invested.
She often thought as to whether or not that she should keep things professional between herself and Darque. He even advised she stop mixing business and pleasure. His directions in regard to his professional needs from her were clear and concise—a clean-up job for reputation management, or a ‘spin doctor’. Personally, however, he warned her. He would hurt her, but she would like it.
The warning label was there. Didn’t she owe it to feminism, to idealism, and to her career to keep a distance even if there was a definite attraction on both ends?
The next time she saw Darque was while at work. He was paying a visit to the staff clarifying a few things about the family name. Of course, none of the scandal that everyone was talking about was discussed. This made the whole damned job slightly hypocritical in Bella’s opinion.
, she thought, dreading her continuing internship as she watched everyone congregate in their penguin suits to discuss what ought to be done--as if morality mattered to these people.
Darque did notice her and sent her a glance. It was one of those loaded looks in between smoldering desire and professional distance letting her know that nothing’s changed. Nothing would ever change in that respect. Darque liked women and certainly wasn’t above taking advantage of his co-workers, though he was proud of the fact that he had no complaints.
Or at least, complaints from any of the living.
Bella couldn’t avoid Darque for long. Within a couple of hours she came face to face with him, discussing details of the online PR campaign.
“The best solution is to get articles printed at major publications, so that we can drown out the pages that…”
Don’t say “tell the truth”.
“Say unsavory things about your family name.”
Darque nodded, wearing a half smile. He knew all of this stuff, but he just couldn’t keep his eyes off her. She looked beautiful—a rarity indeed. Bella was one of the very few women Darque had ever met that merited the term. He actually admitted that she was beautiful, a compliment not given to supermodels, A and B celebrities and sexy Wall-Street-bitch-goddess tycoons. They all tried to be sexy. All he really saw of them were their breasts and legs, the accentuated parts of a costume, and a design they invented. They were neither repulsive nor attractive beyond the usual bump and grind desire that he would feel regardless of a woman’s appearance.
However, to him, Bella was beautiful. She was pure. She had a nostalgic quality about her that he just didn’t see any more in the faces of his peers or the new generation of young adults.
“Doing a good job,” he said for once keeping it professional. “Do you remember what I said?”
Bella huffed and squinted her eyes, provoked at his arrogance. “Yes. And I don’t think that’s professional conversation, is it, Mister Darque? I don’t wish to be ‘hurt’. In case you haven’t heard, feminism is alive and well.”
Darque smiled, unwavering as usual. “Arabella, that’s good to know. But I was actually referring to the discourse I gave your office earlier this morning. About correcting the perception, and not necessarily denying the evidence of what is there. I was talking about work, you see.”
Arabella closed her eyes, absorbing the embarrassment once again.
“I meant that if you focus on correcting the perception, you won’t have to work as hard in burying all these unflattering web pages that explain their flawed perception of the truth.
“I’m sorry, sir. Just…just having a bad day.”
“Well, Miss Stone, one could never tell. You conduct yourself very well. You are very poised. Very confident. And as I’ve often said, very beautiful. My advice is to not bring attention to your mistakes.”
Bella smiled, as always, amazed at how nice the man could be—if he wanted to. It certainly wasn’t his only option.
“And don’t laugh. It shows weakness. Unless of course, the boss makes a joke.”
“Thank you, sir. I’ll remember that.”
“You know, since you brought it up, all the women that I ‘hurt’, you realize, it’s like I really ‘hurt’ them. Most people are unfamiliar with what this…alternative lifestyle involves. Most people think that hurting involves beating or damaging a person’s appearance. That’s not true. That’s not what I do.”
“What do you do?”
“I hurt them in a way that is pleasing. You have to understand a little about human nature. We don’t appreciate pleasure unless we first experience pain. Discipline, we understand it perfectly as a child but then we forget everything as an adult. Discipline guides us to feel something very specific. And the result is a very arousing feeling of surrendering control. Surrendering obligation.”
“So you ‘discipline’ women?”
“I would say that they want me to discipline them. Apparently, my reputation precedes me.”
“You could say that.”
“I am saying that,” he said, dueling with her sensitive eyes, always enjoying the sensation of exerting his power. “Most people when they fuck, they don’t even feel anything anymore. Just in and out, you know? But when you discipline a woman, you make sure she feels it. Foreplay becomes a fine art. She feels a rush of conflicting emotions. It’s something beyond orgasm. It’s a powerful emotional experience.”
Bella blushed. He kept staring into her eyes, testing her, tempting her, and she could barely respond. He was right. She did bring it up. And as usual, he was finishing it.
“I don’t think…” she said, half-way meeting his fiery eyes and then retreating. “This is appropriate conversation for work.”
“You don’t?” He said, staring her down until she bowed her head. “Tell you what, if you want to continue this hypothetical conversation, we can go out to dinner. We can talk about it freely.”
“We won’t actually do anything, mind you. Because I never take advantage of a woman. I wait until she asks me to do it.”
He stared into her eyes again. Bella’s pupils dilated and her heart started to thump.
“I make her beg for it.”
“Okay then,” Bella said nervously, walking away, quite relieved that she didn’t actually answer him one way or the other.
“Hey,” he said loudly, always loving the feeling of dominating the room. “I take it that means yes.”
Damn, he caught me. She nodded timidly.
“Look for a limo,” he said, losing that pointless smile in his face. After all, they were still in a professional setting.
A limousine picked Bella up, as always, since no one that worked or played with Bastien Darque could afford to look destitute. He was a man of expensive tastes and the very idea that Bella, or Arabella, as he insisted on calling her as that was the more exotic way to say her name, was something pricey, something special, tickled her ego.
Bradley, her ex-boyfriend, certainly never described her as beautiful.
“You’re cute,” she recalled Bradley saying one time at a restaurant. “Don’t get me wrong. You do have qualities. You just need to lose some weight and you’d be fine.”
That was the usual routine. Maybe that’s why she stayed so long with Bradley, because he wasn’t easily impressed. He never cherished her. She was always trying to win more approval from him, more commendation or appreciation—something. He tolerated her.
Whatever Bastien was, it was different. He cherished her beauty. He made her feel like a woman, like a diamond. But at the same time, he wasn’t exactly impressed with her. He treated her like what she was; a student, a toy, a “disciple”, that is the follower of a teacher who accepts discipline.
She shook the naughty idea away. It was an intriguing offer for sure. But she couldn’t rationalize why she would ever submit to a man, especially one as shady as Darque. She had such a difficult time calling him Bastien. In fact, he never seemed to encourage it. He liked for his workers to show him respect. To obey orders. To do what was asked, and not learn to like him.
And yet, sitting across from Darque at a five-star restaurant in D.C. felt comfortable. Certainly no “serial killer” vibes coming from the man. He was naturally, calm, vibrant and even found a few reasons to smile throughout the dinner. He spoke well of the entrée. Most “entitled” people harassed the waiters for the food, thinking that made them look like big shots. But Bastien Darque felt no inclination to put on a show. When he was happy, he expressed it. When he was angry, he made sure everyone knew. When he hungry he ate, and he always thanked the waiters and the kitchen staff personally.
And when he was horny…
Bella eyed Bastien suspiciously, having finished the meal, with Bastien hardly noticing her in between morsels of his favorite dish: caviar. But he did say at the outset that she looked beautiful—even though he thought her black dress was “good…but not naturally accentuating.”
“You should avoid slimming colors,” he said matter-of-factly. You have curves. They should be highlighted. They contribute to your beauty. Our clothes don’t hide who we are. They showcase us.”
“That’s nice of you to say.”
“Nothing about me is nice, Arabella,” he said, this time sporting a wicked little smile.
“Well, no, you’re not classically nice,” she said with a laugh. “But I think you have the capacity to be a good person. Everyone does.”
“Not everyone,” he said, slightly bitter. “But I have never lied about anything. I have no need to. On the contrary, lies have been told about me.”
“So none of it’s true?”
“It depends on which parts you’re talking about. Now that you are away from the office you can say what’s on your mind.”
“Do you tie women up?”
“And they enjoy it?”
“Have you never been experimental, young lady? Am I, as your senior, more experimental than you? What a shame. You only live once, you know.”
“Did you just totally YOLO me?”
“You said YOLO.”
“I don’t remember saying that,” he said curtly.
“That’s the expression YOLO. You only live once.”
He shrugged it off. “The expression has been true for generations. Thousands of years of philosophy, from Epicurus and Diagoras of Melos to Friedrich Nietzsche. It is not a fad, but a truth. If we have only one life to live, why aren’t we experimenting more than we are? Why do we not challenge the status quo?”
“I guess you’re right.”
“I have always said,” he said slyly, “Party while you’re young. So that when you get old, you will have plenty of memories to keep you entertained.”
“Hmm.” She smiled, ashamed to admit that she was starting to feel a little intrigued by the concept of pleasurable pain, whatever that meant. “So when you hurt these women…what do you do?”
“It depends on what they want. What they are afraid of, but secretly crave. Some women like to be spanked. Some like to be tied up. Some even like to be called filthy names.”
“And they decide what they want done to them?”
“Well…” he said with a tilt. I find most women have no idea what they are or what they want. So I usually end up showing them what they want. Giving them what they need.”
“I am a man who knows what he wants. And I find people who oppose me to be very…tiresome. So much time can be saved by just admitting that I’m right.”
“You’re always right?” she asked with a raise of her brow.
“Yes. I want to take you home tonight. I want to take you to bed. I want to do all sorts of obscene things to that beautiful body.”
Bella laughed and hid her face in shyness.
“But you’re going to spend another hour of time arguing that. Rationalizing. Making excuses. When what you should do is just say ‘Okay. You know better than I do, papi.’”
“I don’t know if that’s true,” Bella said with a smirk. “I think everybody is wrong sometimes. And you sir, if I may be so bold, are not one to be talking about always being right. You’re paying for a goddamned reputation management campaign.”
Her sudden vehemence seemed to catch them both off guard.
“Should I apologize for that? Are we still on business hours, Mister Darque?”
“No, we’re not. But I have half a mind to turn you over me knee and spank you for what you said,” he said with only a half-smile. No laugh, because who said it was a joke?
“Well then,” he said nonchalantly. “Let’s get this over with. The negotiation. The arguments. The rationalizations and the ‘oh no, I could never…” conversations. Let’s waste another hour of time. But just between you and me, I know you’re going to come home with me tonight.”
“How do you know that?” Bella said with a big smile. “Mister cocky?”
“Because I tell you where to go. I always tell you, and you always do it. I told you to come to dinner with me. I told you to come to work. Now I’m telling you to come to my house tonight.”
“And what if I say no?” she said with a bratty little frown.
“Then our relationship is over.”
“Really? So if I don’t sleep with you again, that’s it?”
“I didn’t say you have to sleep with me. I said come to my home. It’s rude to resist my kind gesture. If you decide you don’t want to spend the night, then you take a limo home. But I think you really do want to.”
“Oh, I see,” she said with a playful gaze.
“You do want to. You want to come, don’t you?”
“You want to come?”
Bella laughed. The nerve of this guy. A man who historically just never takes no for an answer. A man who can charm anyone in the world, from a judge to a lawyer, to a nation full of doubters. And yet, she also noticed, a man who seemed to lie to himself more than anyone else.