“A man would have to be dead to not be affected by you.” FREE READ

by Elizabeth SaFleur

In the #MeToo era I’ve often wondered if the alpha male in romance will fall by the wayside, like Jackson Reese, my domineering corporate boardroom hero who loves earning a woman’s submission. [[Dramatic pause.]] Nah. Below is a free read, Jackson, where an alpha male rules. Enjoy!

Jackson Reese doesn’t have time for romantic complications—but Dana makes him an offer he can’t refuse.

Jackson Reese enjoys his freedom, and his normal evening date is a tumbler of scotch. When his colleague, Dana Moore, reveals her nights are emptier than Jackson’s morning liquor bottles, he changes his plans. He knows a submissive in need when he encounters one, and her need runs deeper than he could have imagined.

Warnings: Adult, erotic content (18+ only), NSFW, D/s situation. I also cannot be responsible for the desire to have your garters snapped after reading this little ditty.


Jackson

Jackson Reese cracked the stack of papers in his hands on the conference table, aligning the edges to perfection. Today was a good day. This afternoon his negotiating skills won his environmental law firm a new client—the largest biofuels manufacturing plant in the country.

His opponent, a man in a cheap gray suit, stood and extended his hand. “Pleasure to do business, Mr. Reese.”

“Yes.” He returned his handshake, heartily. His manners would not be undone, even if the man’s weakness provided him with a too-easy victory for his taste. Jackson enjoyed a good fight, and Gray Suit provided none. He reminded himself to take the win, regardless.

The man turned to his colleague, Dana Moore, a tall brunette in an equally concrete-colored suit that did nothing for her pale skin. He never understood why women in Washington felt they had to dress like men.

“A copy of the signed agreement will be sent over later today,” Jackson said.

“Really, Jackson. It’s seven p.m. Don’t you ever stop working?” Dana’s mouth quirked up into a smirk.

“Not really. Sharon will show you out.” His legal secretary held open the conference room door. She knew to hustle them from the premises as quickly as possible. Once negotiations were over, his tolerance for small talk vanished. Besides, he had a date with a bottle of Scotch.

“Buy you a drink?” Gray Suit asked.

“Another time.” He widened the door opening.

“Dana, this way.” The man’s harsh tone toward the woman unnerved him.

After he let the door swing click shut, blessed silence washed away his budding headache. He ran through the meeting in his mind again, replaying his win like a meditation.

Dana’s face kept interrupting his reflection. Why was she even at the meeting? Gray Suit interrupted her whenever she opened her mouth. He rarely ran into sexism these days. It jarred his nerves when he did. Dana was annoying, but she wasn’t stupid. He’d learned that from running into her—repeatedly.

Lately, she showed up at too many places he frequented—charity events, the Kennedy Center, even in line at Starbucks one day. But as the wife of an Ohio state Senator—and a trophy lobbyist of the firm that he’d just secured as a client—he had to be polite.

At least she hadn’t breached his private space, Club Accendos, his secret weekend retreat. Dana Moore tied to a St. Andrews Cross. Now there’s a vision.

He walked to the wall of windows overlooking Pennsylvania Avenue. The September sky has turned purple, and the string of red taillights on the road below signaled rush hour was far from over. Traffic would be bad tonight. Perhaps he’d head over to Accendos and not wait for the weekend. Surely someone would be interested in a little pick-up play—his favorite anecdote to a night otherwise spent alone.

He scratched his five o’clock shadow and engaged in his evening ritual—mentally running through his plans for tomorrow. The day would be filled with back-to-back meetings.

“You drive a hard bargain, Jackson Reese.” Dana’s voice broke through his thoughts and the sacred silence.

He turned and caught a whiff of her Chanel perfume. “Something else I can help you with Mrs. Moore?”

“I’m afraid our negotiations left me a little . . . unsatisfied.”

“Oh?” Here we go. He knew where her teasing was headed. Whenever he ran into Dana, she’d press her cheek against his face in an oh-so-Washington-acceptable, non-kiss. She’d breathe on his neck as if the heat would warm him to attraction. He wondered what flirtatious gesture she’d graduate to tonight.

“Where’s your colleague?”

“With any luck half way down Constitution in a taxi cab. You haven’t answered my texts.” She stood before him before he could move away.

“I don’t look at my phone during meetings. It’s rude.”

“Ah. I knew your silence wasn’t a ‘no.’”

He grasped her hands before they could connect with his chest. “Excuse me. Paperwork awaits.” He placed her hands against her sides.

Before he could sidestep her, she grabbed his crotch. He tensed and chose to stand stock still. “That’s not the best way to get my attention,” he said.

“Oh? What is?” She gently cupped his balls.

He looked down at her hand and peeled her fingers from the front of his trousers. “Tell me, where is your husband, Mrs. Moore?” He emphasized her married title in case she’d forgotten her status.

She pulled her hand away from his grip. “Who cares?” Her smile faded into pure boredom, a look demonstrated by too many Washington wives.

She sat back on the conference room table and crossed her arms. “Tell me, Mister Reese. I’m too forward for you? You only like submissive women, weak, who melt at your feet?

“If you’ll excuse me, Mrs. Moore—”

“Don’t call me that. It’s my title. It’s not who I am.”

“That’s a shame. Perhaps you should take on a new title.”

A feline smile stretched across her face. “That’s what I’m trying to do right now.”

“No, you’re trying to fill up your night because you have nothing else to do.”

The sides of her mouth dropped to a flat line. “I have plenty of places I could go.”

He stepped aside and gestured to the door. “Good, because I don’t get involved with married women.”

She lifted her chin and stood. “And if I was single?”

“I would see you as a beautiful, successful woman.”

“You should run for office. Only you could make a compliment sound like a dismissal.”

“I’m a Washington attorney.”

“And a handsome, successful man.” Her hand landed on his chest, stopping his advance toward the door. “I won’t blackmail you if that’s what you’re thinking.”

“The thought never occurred.” Oh, yes, it did. Washington lived off traded favors. He, however, made it a point to never owe anyone anything.

She took a deep breath and steeled her voice. “I know all about you Jackson Reese. You like to make women . . . do things.”

“I don’t make anyone do anything.” He caught her wrists before she could connect with any part of his body again.

Her voice hitched and she smiled. “So strong, Jackson.” She twisted her hands from his grip. “You don’t like to be touched unless you initiate the advance? Isn’t that the game?” She chuffed and stepped back. “Perhaps you’re not man enough for me.” She lifted her chin, a move he particularly hated in women.

She turned slowly. Too slowly. She wanted him to stop her? Too bad.

“Reverse psychology doesn’t work on me, Mrs. Moore,” he said to her back.

She turned sharply. “I told you not to call me that.”

“I do not get involved with married women.”

“I’m not asking for involvement.”

“I don’t have casual sex, either.”

“God, Jackson you sound like a 1950s housewife.” She lowered her voice. “Not at all like the Dominant I expected given your status at Accen—”

“Excuse me?”

She smiled. “Oh, yes, I know all about you and your secret little boy’s club. Come now.” She stepped forward, her hand connecting to his chest—again. “Show me what you got.”

He couldn’t help himself. He laughed.

A muscle twitched in her cheek. “You don’t think you can dominate me, do you?”

“No, I don’t think you can submit to me.”

“Oh, a challenge. But what if I told you I was sincere.” She stepped backward. “I’m interested.”

“I’m not.”

“Please.”

“I don’t believe you. Why are you really here?” Deep interest replaced his curiosity. Information about his secret sexual life was not easily obtained. He’d find out who leaked any information about them. But, first, he had to know her motives.

Was this part of some retaliation for his rebuffs of her advances? No, his ego wasn’t that big. Washington was full of powerful, attractive men.

Blackmail? If Dana knew who he was—and had proof—she could destroy him. She would have offered terms by now. Something else was at play.

Experimenting? It was the only reason he could fathom why someone like Dana Moore would be interested in any power dynamic other than the one she’d already amassed. She was a good-looking woman, still in her prime years, with a successful position, and married to a powerful man. She has to be bored, that’s all.

A heavy sigh escaped her lips. “Does it matter why?”

“Yes.” He crossed his arms.

“I want to know what it’s like.” Her tone was so sincere, he almost believed her. Almost.

“I don’t get involved with dilettantes,” he said.

A bolt of pain flashed across her face, hard and fast like a crack across a porcelain vase. It was gone as fast as it came, and her smooth mask return to its perfection.

“Mrs. Moore, when you go home tonight, you tell Mister Moore—”

“Please, please, stop calling me that,” she spat.

“Why should I?”

She laughed heartily. “Because my husband isn’t interested in me, Mr. Reese. Nor any woman.” She looked out at the Washington skyline and hissed between her teeth. “It’d be easier if he’d just have damned affairs like everyone else in this town. Of course, he probably is. Just not with anyone I could compete with. Divorce papers are next.”

Jackson crossed his arms. “Why are you telling me such privileged information?”

“So you have one of my secrets like I have one of yours. You like dominating women. My husband doesn’t even see them.”

So Senator Moore was gay? Who cared? Except Jackson learned long ago unsatisfied women were dangerous women. Angry men may start wars. But frustrated women could implode planets. And, Dana looked ready to hit something or someone. Well, it wouldn’t be him.

“Move on then,” he said.

“Oh, we are. We’re legally separated but waiting until after the election for the announcement. You of all people should know a divorce in an election year is an impossibility. He’s barely holding on in the polls. Besides, we make a good team when we’re focused on work.”

“Doesn’t sound like much of a team if he’s batting for the competition.”

She laughed again. “I didn’t know you had a sense of humor, Jackson.” Her shoulders dropped and she chewed her lip.  “I want to see what it’s like to be . . . more.”

He grasped her by the shoulders and lurched her closer to him. She gasped as he ran his hands down her back and her sides.

“You think I’m wired.” Honest shock colored her face.

“Yes.”

“Did anyone ever tell you that you have trust issues?”

“Everyday. Now tell me the truth.”

“I did. I want to know what it’s like . . . not to experiment. But to be the sole focus of . . . someone. Even temporarily.”

“Go on.”

“I can keep thinking about what I don’t have or act. I need to know what I’m missing.” She shifted on her heels and a flash of vulnerability crossed her face. “Maybe next time I’ll choose someone more . . . compatible.”

Holy shit. Dana was serious.

He stepped backward and looked at his watch. “I’ve got one hour.” He must be half-crazed out of his mind to do anything with this woman. But the enigmatic story of Dana Moore gnawed at his insides. No bars enslaved a man more than the unknown—and Jackson Reese didn’t do mystery. Add the injustice of her situation and Jackson found himself compelled to help her.

She straightened. “One night.”

“One hour.” He grasped her chin and lowered it. “No sex. Nonnegotiable. And you’ll do what I say.”

“That’s the point, isn’t it?”

He huffed a half laugh willing to let her indulge in bravado a bit longer. Then he walked over to the conference room door and clicked the lock.

“Dana, what is your maiden name?”

“Strickland. Why?”

“That’s your safeword. I presume you know what that is.”

“Yes.”

“Good. Now go to the end of the room.”

“Being punished already?”

“No games, Dana.”

“So serious, Mr. Reese.” She uncharacteristically wobbled a little as she walked. She was scared. Okay, she didn’t like mystery, either. Tough.

“Take off your dress. The color does nothing for you. Drop it on the floor. Yes, Dana, you likely have ten others like it at home,” he said to her incredulous face.

As she shed her god-awful dress, she revealed a beautiful lingerie set, including garter belt and stockings. Unexpected, but welcomed.

“You came prepared,” he said.

Her skin flushed a deep crimson.

“Turn and look at me.”

She pivoted and immediately crossed her arms over her ample breasts captured in a surprisingly feminine bra. White lace. Yes, very nice.

“Don’t hide yourself. Show me what you chose to wear for me.” After she lowered her arms to her side, he cocked his head and looked. Really looked. How could no one admire this woman? Jackson appreciated any woman who kept herself in such fine form as Dana. The mystery deepened.

“Take down your hair.”

After shaking her bun free, her long brunette hair reflected flashes of ambient city lights streaming in from the long wall of windows.

“You should wear your hair down more.”

She huffed. “I’m not sixteen anymore.”

“Thank God.” After clicking off the lights, he shed himself of his jacket. He rolled his shirt sleeves to bare his wrists. He removed his watch. Each movement deliberate and slow. Dana’s face grew more pale with each action.

He had pledged himself to uphold all the laws of safe, sane and consensual play. But that didn’t mean he couldn’t let a little intimidation create the right mood. Dana wanted to try on submission, well, he’d use all means at his disposal to have her feel that loss of control.

He stood at the head of the table and laid his hands on the smooth surface.

“Get on the table. Hands and knees.”

Her mouth dropped open. “Seriously?”

“That’s the last time you’ll argue with me.”

As she bent over the table, a curtain of chestnut silk fell in her face. One knee and then the other connected with the glass, her stockings easily gliding her into position. Yes, very nice. Without that steely suit and severe hairstyle, Dana was quite the looker. His cock jolted alive for the first time all day.

He walked to where she knelt on the table. His hand slid down the side of her head, silky strands soft under his palm. “You have remarkable hair.”

“Thank you,” she whispered.

He continued to run her smooth locks through his fingers. She grew more jittery under his touches. “You’re a grown woman with grown-up needs. No need to feel ashamed about enjoying being petted.” A thought flitted across his mind. “Yes, that’s what I’m going to call you. My pet.”

A small sliver of anger flashed in her eyes.

“You can choose to take it as society tells you.” He leaned close to her ear. “Or how I meant it.”

He walked back to the head of the table but remained standing by his chair. Dana faced him on the opposite side, kneeling with her breasts rising in fell in shaky breaths.

“What should I call you?” she asked.

“Titles don’t interest me right now. What does interest me is your fantasy.”

“I don’t—”

“Yes, you do. Given your situation, you have a bank of fantasies you rely on.”

She sighed and gazed out the window. He sighed in return. It was going to be a long night if she continued to indulge in her nerves. She asked for this scenario. Yet he’d have to help her along. “Where does he place his hands on you?”

Her eyes darted to his face. “Everywhere.” She answered without hesitation. Ah, so she did fantasize about someone.

“Specifics, Dana.”

“He grabs my hands and—and pushes my wrists. . .”

“Overhead.”

“Yes.”

Dana Moore dreamt about being overpowered? Hardly a ringing endorsement she cared for submission. Her fantasies could mean she wanted aggressive sex, not loss of control. He knew only one true way to find out.

“Crawl to me. Slowly, pet.”

She hesitated.

“Dana.”

She lowered to her arms and moved forward. In the dim light he caught flashes of a crystal rosette at the center of her bra. She could afford the best after all. He pushed the thought aside that she had no one to admire such finery from his mind and concentrated on the woman before him. Yes, the woman. The thought occurred he’d never considered Dana a woman prior to five minutes ago.

Halfway across the table, she stopped and pulled back up to kneeling. “I feel like an idiot.” Her voice trembled.

“You’re beautiful.” He lowered himself to his chair. “Feel me watching you, Dana. Resume.”

Her hands fell to the table once more. She moved forward, her shoulders growing more rigid with each inch forward. He’d never seen a woman so scared—and that was saying something. The courage it must have taken for her to come to him?  Uncharacteristic guilt hit him square in the chest from his earlier, dismissive behavior. He’d been in Washington too long.

He concentrated on her movements, slow, deliberate, and all because he’d asked. The familiar satisfaction of experiencing submission, even as frail as Dana’s, filled his insides.

“Thank you, Dana.”

She looked up at him. “For what?”

“For you.” He ran a finger over his bottom lip. Time to concentrate—on her. “Can you feel the pull of your garter against the back of your thigh? Perhaps I’ll snap it, leave a nice thin red stripe on that ass you hide all day.”

Her breath hitched.

“Is that what you’d like, my little pet? A good smack on the ass?” He laid both hands on the armrests of his chair, wholly aware of the effect his stance held to someone so exposed.

“Maybe,” she whispered.

“You have to get closer to earn such a reward.”

She looked up him, surprised. Her breathing deepened and her chest flushed a deep pink. When she reached his end of the table, she pulled herself up to kneeling. He laid his hands on her thighs. Yes, she definitely shook—but not from fear. He tucked her hair behind her ear and curled his fingers around the shell of her ear. So, she was serious about this experiment.

“Do you know when a woman is most beautiful?” he asked.

“Twenty-five?”

He laughed. “Only a woman would answer that way. No, when she’s being true to herself.”

“So I should walk around in lingerie with my hair down?”

“You already walk around in lingerie, don’t you?” He cupped her chin and raised her gaze to him. “Next time I see you, you’ll wear your hair loose, too.”

“When will that be?”

“I don’t know. So you’ll have to wear it down for a while. Sit up, legs over the edge.”

After she complied he pulled her forward so she perched on the edge. In his peripheral vision he caught their faint reflections in the windows as night had fallen dark and heavy outside. He turned her face so she could see their images.

He twisted a lock of her hair in his hands. “Yes, remarkable.”

She lifted her hands and placed them on his chest. “One hour. Does anyone get more of you?”

“Rarely.” He pulled her off the table and swiveled her so she faced it. She caught herself with her hands. He palmed her behind and leaned toward the ear. “We should make the most of our time together.”

“What do you want me to do?”

“What you’re doing.” He snapped her garter. A puff of air left her lips. He grasped a handful of her hair and pulled her head back. “More, my pet?” he whispered in her ear.

“Yes.”

He laid a sound spank on her ass. She grunted and lurched more over the table. When she tried to move a lock of hair that had dropped forward, he twisted her arm behind her, gently but firmly. Her mouth dropped open. “You don’t need to do anything. Take it in.” He drank in the sight of her cheeks, reddened from his smack.

“Widen those legs. Good.” He dropped his grip and sank down in his chair. “Show me how you touch yourself.”

Without any more prompting, she drew her hand to the inside of her thigh.

“More,” he said. “Very nice. Leave the panties on. I told you I like your choice.”

She gave him her profile, and he caught a glimmer of gratitude in her eyes. His gut lurched a little at how little he’d done and how much she’d already reacted. Was her life so empty? Likely. Here she stood, lapping up his minor attention like a kitten.

He never understood people who settled for scraps. Of course she agreed to marry Senator Moore—and stay married to him. Besides, who was he kidding? Work in Washington often replaced matters of the heart. Perhaps he knew why people settled after all.

But not tonight.

Her fingers had moved under the elastic of her panties. As she stroked herself under the slip of lace, he kept his eyes on her back, now reddening in desire. Her breath accelerated, and she leaned more forward on one arm. When her head fell back, her long hair nearly touched the crack of her ass.

“Stop.” He grew heartened at her growing confidence but he wasn’t ready for her to come.

Air sputtered between her lips.

“Turn around,” he said. “Give me your fingers.”

She withdrew her hand from her panties and turned to face him. Jackson lifted her fingers to his lips. He fought the urge to suckle the wetness from her fingers, settling for flicking his tongue across one tip. She gasped on contact, and her eyes glazed. He expected no more back talk from Dana—only the reality her desire was winning, which meant he was winning.

He grabbed her waist and placed her back on to the conference table. Then he picked up one of her feet and placed it on his cock, now rock hard and uncaring about her marital status.

“You’re having quite the effect on me.” His brain would win this battle, of course. He’d settle for a cold shower later.  “Lean back,” he said.

After she lowered herself on to the table, he leaned over her. His crotch connected with hers. Her glorious hair spread in all directions around her head, forming a chestnut halo. He leaned down, pressing his hands on either side of her shoulders, keeping himself from leaning too much on her body. He’d make no more contact – a contract he had with himself about who he’d get intimate with and who he would not. Unhappy or not, Dana was married and off limits.

“Put your finger inside yourself.”

He didn’t need to see that she’d complied. He could feel her fingers move. She gasped and arched her back.

“Jackson, please.”

“Keep going,”

“I’m not sure I can.” Her eyes had moistened.

He cracked her hard on the side of her ass. A choked cry released from her throat, and her fingers quickened. Ah.

“That’s not the only place he puts his hands, is it?”

“No.” A tear slipped down her cheek to disappear into her hair.

“Where?”

She drew her free hand to the base of her throat, unable to say the words.

Jackson placed his hand on hers. “Do you trust me?”

She nodded.

He nearly encircled her entire neck with his large hand. She released a long breath, her face relaxing. He tightened his grip around her throat. “Now, Dana. Make yourself come.”

A long cry emitted from her throat as she released. Her mouth opened into an oval, her neck arching into his hand. He knew after tonight, he wouldn’t ever see her as beautiful as she was in that moment again.

Her body lay limp on the glass tabletop as he released his grip around her throat. He pulled her up to sitting and ran his fingers through her hair for some minutes. When her breathing returned to normal, he sat her in his chair and retrieved her dress from across the room. She sat dazed.

“Dana?”

“I’m fine.”

“Don’t get embarrassed now.”

“I-I’m not. I’m just . . .” She looked down at her dress, scrunched in her lap. “I don’t want to put this on. Is that silly?”

“Not at all.”

He gave her a glass of water, and they both stared out at the skyline for an hour, unspeaking. When the traffic sounds outside died down to a low hum, she finally spoke. “Weren’t you supposed to beat me or something?”

He laughed. Wait, she’s serious. “No, Dana. I was not supposed to beat you. I was supposed to do what you needed.”

“And that was it?”

“You needed to be seen.”

“That’s not all. Thank you for being . . . affected.”

“A man would have to be dead to not be affected by you.” He turned to face her.

She returned his smile. “I’m not sure what to do next.”

“I do.” He took in a deep breath and pulled a card from his wallet. He handed it to her. “Call me when the ink’s dry on your divorce papers.”

She stared at the card for a long minute and then cocked her head at him.

“And think about what you want. No subtly, Dana. I want specifics.” He still wasn’t convinced Dana had a submissive bone in her body. But he’d help her discover her true proclivities—once divorced. He owed it to her. Her moment of giving herself to him was worth a thousand dates with bottles of Scotch.

She fingered the card. “You’re kind, Jackson Reese.”

“Shhh. Don’t tell anyone.” He winked at her. Jesus, he was flirting? No, he just wanted an unhappy woman to feel better about herself. He had little tolerance for men who mishandled women, and Senator Moore was clearly mishandling his wife if she was reduced to attempted seduction. But what did he know about their marriage? Nothing. And that’s the way he’d keep it.

She sighed. “You sure you couldn’t . . .” Her words stopped when he cupped her cheek.

“Yes, I’m sure. Call me when you’ve decided you are more important than your husband’s career.”

“I think I already have. Now that I have something to look forward to.” She blushed.

“No promises, Dana. And, be very, very sure before you act.” He dropped his hand and stared back at the same skyline. “But when you text me with an image of your signed divorce decree, I’ll answer it.”

~~~The End~~~

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1 comment

  • Virginie

    How the hell did I miss Dana? I read Jackson a few weeks ago because I missed it too. I keep missing books from my favorites authors… I’m driving into Dana!!

    Reply to Virginie

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