At His Mercy

Intense. Exclusive. Invitation only. Do you have what it takes to be a pleasure sub?

Masters Club, a private BDSM venue for serious players, is perfect for Dom Cameron Lord, who gives the kink lifestyle everything he’s got—except his heart… When he witnesses a lovely sub girl enduring a botched scene at a NYC public club, he sees her potential. She’ll make an excellent addition to the Masters Club. But as he steps closer, he recognizes her…and all bets should have been off.

Aspiring young attorney Jess Cooper gets her release at the BDSM clubs around town, where she enjoys letting her inner sub fly. There’s nothing better than to be naked and bound, a stranger in black leather behind her wielding a whip. It’s the perfect anonymous relief from a stressful workweek. Until her worlds collide when Mr. Lord, the super sexy partner at her firm, watches her from the sidelines.

Any hope that he hadn’t recognized her with her clothes off vanishes the very next day at the office. No, he doesn’t say a word about what he saw. His invitation says it all…

At His Mercy is the first book in Claire Thompson’s new BDSM Romance series—Masters Club. If you enjoy powerful alpha men who aren’t afraid to take what they want, but give so much in return to the women they fall for, then this series is for you.

Excerpt – CHAPTER ONE

Cameron Lord watched from a distance, his eyes riveted to the scene. With each flick of the whip against her ass, his cock twitched with appreciation. From his vantage point, he could only see her back, and even that was partially obscured by the crowd that had gathered around the scene station, and the hulking man in leather wielding the whip.

He would have liked to see her face. Was it twisted in agony? Slack with submissive bliss? Her thick copper-colored hair was piled loosely on her head, tendrils escaping at the nape of her long, slender neck. He pushed his way closer, seeking a better view.

She was naked, save for a pair of thong panties, her wrists and ankles cuffed against a cheap, portable St. Andrew’s cross. Her back was streaked with dark pink welts, the kind that stung like hell when delivered, but would probably have faded away by morning. Her ass was cherry red, some bruising evident where the rounded globes met her thighs.

Cameron didn’t normally bother with the public clubs. He’d only stopped by on a whim, on his way to his private club. His friend Grayson would have said he was slumming, but Cameron considered it more of a way to keep tabs on what the wider BDSM community was up to. And you never knew—there might just be a submissive diamond amidst the coal, waiting to be scooped up.

He edged closer to get a better look at the woman cuffed to the cross. He admired the long, lean curves of her youthful body. She flinched as the whip’s tip made contact with her flesh, but otherwise remained still and quiet. The man delivering the whipping was mechanical in his movements, seemingly devoid of passion.

The onlookers watched the unfolding scene with leering silence, several with their mouths hanging open. One guy actually had his hand down his pants.

Mildly disgusted, Cameron started to turn away, but a cry from the girl arrested his attention. Shouldering his way to the front of the motley assortment of gawkers, he saw the long red welt curling around her hip bone.

“That was your fault,” the man snapped. “I can’t aim properly when you’re jerking around.”

Cameron nearly said something, but held his tongue. What did he expect from a public club? The players here were rank amateurs.

The woman murmured something inaudible. Cameron moved closer, straining to hear.

“That was your fault, not mine. You moved,” the guy snapped. “I’m the boss, and it’s over when I say it’s over, and not a second before that, sub girl. I want to mark those perky tits of yours. Then, we’ll go to one of the private rooms where you’ll get on your knees and thank me properly.” He barked an ugly laugh.

This time the woman spoke loud enough for Cameron to hear. “Are you deaf or just stupid? I used my safeword. Let me down.”

A husky female voice from the crowd called out, “She used her safeword, asshole. End of story.”

The would-be Dom glanced back, glaring as his eyes moved over the people gathered there. Turning back to the girl, he snarled loudly, “Fucking prick tease. You said you could handle anything. Obviously not.”

Cameron had had enough. The guy was being a total jerk. He made a move forward, but before he could get close enough to intervene, the woman who had called out stepped onto the scene mat. She was maybe in her fifties, heavyset but still quite attractive in a black leather minidress that hugged her ample curves. “The girl said no, bub.” She put her hand on the man’s shoulder. “No means no, and safeword means end of scene. Capiche?”

The man shook himself away from the older woman’s touch. He glared around at the crowd, but found no sympathy there. “Fuck this,” he growled. Bending down, he grabbed his gear bag, stuffed his whip into it, and stalked away.

What a flaming asshole. Cameron had the urge to follow the guy, tap his shoulder, and when he turned around, punch him in the jaw.

But he stayed where he was, watching as the woman crouched to release the bound girl’s ankles and then stood, reaching up to unclip her wrists cuffs.

The naked girl lowered her arms and turned slowly from the cross. She was lovely, with round, high breasts, a long, slender torso and gently flaring hips. Cameron’s cock twitched in appreciation at the lovely sight.

His gaze moved up to her face. A jolt of recognition shot through him.

“Holy shit,” he mouthed silently. His brain was having a hard time connecting the dots as his two worlds collided.

Her hair had come out of its makeshift bun and fell now in a coppery tumble of loose curls to her shoulders. Her face was heart-shaped, her large green eyes bright. Her mouth was lush, the lips full and red, like a plump piece of fruit just waiting to be bitten. Why had he never noticed before how ravishingly beautiful this young woman was?

Because in his other world, she wasn’t a submissive, naked and vulnerable, her back and ass streaked with marks from the lash. She was Jessica Cooper, one of the newer associates at his law firm. While he’d never worked directly with her, she had recently done a good job in a support capacity on a major deal for one of his top clients.

His brain tried to combine the two disparate images of this young woman. And failed.

Cameron liked the compartments of his life to be neat and orderly, with no bleed between the two. He chided himself for the brief fantasy that had leaped full-blown into his mind: Jess kneeling naked before him, eyes on his erect cock… He shook his head slightly to clear away the unacceptable image. Though there was no specific rule at the firm about colleagues becoming involved outside the office, he’d made it a personal rule never to engage. He didn’t have time for a relationship, anyway. He got all the release and satisfaction he needed at the Masters Club.

As if feeling Cameron’s gaze on her, Jessica lifted her head. As they stared at one another, her mouth opened in a small O of surprise, her eyes widening. Her hand fluttered to her chest as color washed over her throat and face. She, clearly, had recognized him as well.

He offered her the hint of a smile, not surprised at her discomfiture. He should have turned away at once, before she’d had a chance to see him. “Don’t worry,” he silently telegraphed. “I’ll keep your secret.”

She didn’t seem to receive the message, however. Snapping her mouth closed, she whirled away. Grabbing a discarded robe from the mat, she draped it over her shoulders. She remained with her back to him. It was clearly a dismissal.

Not wanting to embarrass her any more than he probably already had, Cameron walked away from the scene station, the smile still playing over his lips. What an interesting turn of affairs.

The question was, what should he do about it?

If he were prudent and properly cautious, he’d do nothing. Nothing at all.

But Cameron Lord hadn’t gotten where he was by shying from risks. Why start now?

~*~

The next morning, Jess arrived at the office later than she liked to. She’d left the club right after the aborted scene, too shaken up by the encounter with Cameron Lord to remain. New York City was a huge place. It was bad enough to run into her boss at a BDSM play club. But did she really have to be bare-ass naked at the time?

Just the memory of those clear gray eyes watching, assessing, judging, brought heat flooding into her face.

The only thing that had kept her from dying of mortification on the spot was the fact he’d been there, too, dressed in leather, gear bag slung over his shoulder. He couldn’t very well accuse or judge her, unless he accused and judged himself as well.

She was grateful he hadn’t tried to approach her. Hell, it was possible he hadn’t even recognized her. After all, at work she was just another second-year law associate, beneath the notice of an equity partner.

On the other hand, she had been getting more involved in the mergers and acquisitions side of the business lately, which was his area of expertise. She’d done a ton of work on the Atlantic City-based Lansing Hotel and Casino merger with the smaller, super high-end hotel chain, Veranda Esplanade, which threw off plenty of cash. Mr. Lord had brought in the business for the firm, though she had no idea if he even knew of her contributions.

He was in what she thought of as the equity partner bubble, protected by a flank of managing partners and his support staff. Now, she was glad she’d only had indirect contact so far on the Lansing deal. She just had to hope that peculiar look he’d given her had been not one of recognition, but perhaps commiseration because of the botched scene.

She’d examined herself carefully in her bathroom mirror upon arriving home, providing her own aftercare. Most of the marks were already fading, but there was a nasty welt still visible over her hip, where the whip had missed its mark.

The guy she’d chosen for the evening’s play had had definite potential. He had been around her age and good looking, too, though it was apparent he knew it all too well. Too bad he had turned out to be such a dick. It wasn’t that she faulted him necessarily for the painful miss with the lash, but rather how he’d handled it—blaming her, and then ignoring her safeword.

She didn’t normally even go to the clubs on a Thursday, usually still at work until eight or later. She preferred weekend play so she could sleep in the morning after. Last night had been her gift to herself, after three weeks of nonstop work on the Lansing deal. She had desperately needed to decompress with a mind-clearing, purifying BDSM scene.

She’d gotten to bed around midnight, but her mind had refused to shut down, obsessing over what Mr. Lord may or may not have seen. Naturally, her first reaction had been abject panic. No matter that he’d been there, too. She was the one who’d been on display, naked and cuffed to a cross.

Despite her chagrin, Jess couldn’t help but grin at the thought of proper Mr. Lord hanging out at a kinky sex club. Imagine the fodder for gossip she could provide for the girls at work if she dropped that morsel into the caldron of frustrated office lust?

Not that she’d ever do such a thing. She’d steered well clear of the girly gossip about the enigmatic partner. Cameron Lord had attained almost cult status among the secretaries and other support staff. His nickname among the girls was Lord Hunk, and despite the conservative suits and reserved manner, his appeal couldn’t be denied.

Young compared to the other partners, handsome, elegant and aloof, his back story was fodder for speculation among giggling girls in the breakroom. He wore no wedding ring, but there was always an elegant woman on his arm for corporate events, though, apparently, never the same one twice.

She’d once overheard the girls in the secretary pool comparing him to Richard Gere’s character in the old movie, Pretty Woman. “I’d be his Julia Roberts any day of the week,” she’d heard Brenda confide to her desk mate.

Jess had never entertained such dreams. She had zero interest in getting involved with someone at the office, no matter how sexy and mysterious he might be. Several of the other associates and even one of the managing partners had asked her out over the two years and change she’d been with the firm, and she’d always politely but firmly declined. That was one quagmire she had no intention of stepping into.

Nevertheless, she couldn’t help but admire Mr. Lord. He had a reputation as a whiz kid who’d climbed quickly up the ranks. Around forty, he took good care of himself, his body lean, his skin and eyes clear. He dressed impeccably in perfectly-tailored suits and elegant Italian loafers. He was nice to look at, there was no denying. He had dark, wavy hair and piercing gray eyes. A lot of women she knew would have killed for his thick fringe of dark lashes. His face was angular, his nose strong. Yet his mouth was surprisingly sensual, the lips full and soft. Though she’d never have admitted it aloud, she’d had the occasional fantasy of kissing those lips.

While she’d always found him very attractive—who didn’t—she’d never seriously considered him as potential dating material. Not only because he was a senior partner and possibly already in a relationship, but because, she’d assumed, he would be as vanilla as an ice cream cone.

To discover that he was in the scene—at least to the extent that he’d shown up at a BDSM club wearing the uniform, gear bag in tow—had thrown her for a complete loop. It had forced her to rethink everything she’d thought she knew about the man, and blown away her protective shield against his considerable physical charms in the process. Her mind naturally segued to an insane fantasy of being his submissive. Of giving herself, heart, body and soul, to Cameron Lord…

In bed, her hand had slipped between her legs as she imagined kneeling naked in front of him—not the staid, self-contained partner in his bespoke suits and elegant silk ties, but the Master in black leather, a cane and a coil of rope in his hand.

She must have passed out finally somewhere near dawn. She’d slept through her alarm, missed the express subway train and been forced to take the local that stopped at every station.

Now, setting her heavy briefcase on the desk of her small, windowless office, she removed her sneakers and replaced them with work pumps. More folders had been added to her inbox since she’d left the evening before. She had a pile of contracts to review. She needed to put the bizarre events of the night before out of her mind and focus on the day ahead.

But first, coffee.

She passed by the hallway that contained the partners’ elegant row of offices as she headed to the breakroom. Was Mr. Lord already in his office? Had he put two and two together last night? Did he plan to do anything about it?

Once back at her desk, coffee mug by her keyboard, she booted up her computer, more or less ready to face the day. Her edgy, nervous mood eventually calmed as she immersed herself in her work. She was just finishing the draft of a letter to opposing counsel outlining the firm’s final position when Brenda stuck her head around the door. Brenda, a forty-something redhead with a voluptuous figure and a sharp mind, was Jess’s favorite secretary in the pool shared by the associates.

“One of the top dogs wants to see you,” Brenda said with a smirk.

It took Jess a moment to switch gears and process what Brenda had just said. Then her stomach swooped unpleasantly. Was this it? Was she about to get fired?

No. That was crazy. She hadn’t broken any laws, and she certainly hadn’t been at Spankees in any professional capacity. And anyway, he’d been there, too. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

In spite of herself, her nipples tightened as she recalled his gaze moving with slow, sexy insolence over her naked body. Perhaps that had been a good thing. Maybe he’d been too busy staring at her body to notice her face.

It suddenly occurred to Jess that Brenda hadn’t said which “top dog.” There were nine partners, and she answered to all of them. Maybe she was panicking for nothing. She looked up, hoping her face didn’t betray her nerves.

“Who exactly is asking for me?” she asked, pleased her voice came out calm and well-modulated.

“Lord Hunk,” Brenda breathed, reverence in her tone.

Jess’s pulse began to race. Keeping her expression under control, she managed to speak with a calm she didn’t feel. “Did he say what he wanted?”

“No,” Brenda said. “I didn’t actually speak to him. Marion told me. All she said was that he wanted to see you in his office at your earliest convenience.”

“Okay. Thanks, Brenda.”

Brenda continued to hover at the door, her face a study in excitement and curiosity. “Do you have any idea what he wants?”

Jess shrugged. “Not a clue.”

Brenda made a small clucking noise of encouragement. “I’m sure it’s something good. You’re lucky. All that work you’ve been doing on the Lansing deal must be paying off. This might be your big break—a chance to be noticed.”

Or fired.

Jess did her best to keep her face blank. She had no intention of giving Brenda fodder for the mid-morning coffee break. Flashing a nervous grin, she managed, “I guess there’s only one way to find out.”

She grabbed her suit jacket from the coat rack in the corner of the office. She put it on over her blouse and smoothed down her skirt. Pulling open a side drawer, she removed the small makeup bag she kept there. She opened the compact to inspect her face. She looked tired. And nervous. She applied a little fresh lipstick and smiled to make sure there was nothing in her teeth.

She briefly considered taking a quick gulp of the unopened single malt scotch a client had given her, and which she kept in her bottom desk drawer. Don’t be ridiculous, she silently chided herself.

Whatever happened, happened. She wasn’t going to stress out over it in advance. She’d graduated in the top ten in her law class at NYU. She was a second-year associate, hopefully on a path to partner at a prestigious Manhattan law firm. She’d worked her ass off for the firm. She’d handled herself well in court the few times she’d been allowed to present. What she did on her own time was nobody’s business.

Grabbing the elegant monogrammed leather portfolio her parents had given her at graduation and her lucky Montblanc pen, she left her tiny office. She focused on her breathing as she moved down the thickly carpeted corridor to Mr. Lord’s corner office.

Marion glanced up from her computer screen as Jess approached. “You can go right in. He’s expecting you.”