Contemporary Erotic Romance/72,000 Words
Hot Alpha Billionaire (Book 4)
Rand Johnson ties submissives to his bed, but never his heart, and he intends to keep it that way.
Clair Montgomery needs a change in her life, a break from conforming to her parents’ dictates of image and respectability. So when her clean-cut, jerk of a soon-to-be ex-boyfriend tells her she’s boring and needs to try something new, she agrees. While at a seaside resort, she takes a snorkeling lesson from an exotically handsome instructor who offers to give her another new experience… two men at once. If she’s brave enough, he’ll introduce her to a world of dominant males and ménage sex.
Rand wants two things from this vacation—time to relax and a woman who will indulge his kink for ménage. When a drunk little trespasser stumbles onto his beachfront property asking about snorkeling classes and new experiences, Rand can’t resist giving her some lessons. Little does he know the lovely blonde will return the favor by teaching him a few things too—about love, life, and his own hard limits.
Other Books by Marilyn
This is an excerpt from HARD LIMITS
© Marilyn Lakewood
Whidbey Island, Washington State
Average adults have more than fifty million sensory nerve cells in their skin.
When Rand Johnson waded out of the tumbling surf of Puget Sound, with saltwater tracing down his torso like a submissive’s caress, he admitted to himself that all fifty mil of his sensory cells clamored for intimate contact with a female—deep, intimate contact.
How long had it been since he’d had a woman? A month? No wonder he had sex on the brain.
The afternoon sun warmed his skin and began drying his black swim trunks as he strode to a pair of canvas beach loungers. He dropped his diving mask and snorkel by his chair and grabbed a towel, swiping it over his face and chest before hooking it around his neck.
Stretching out on one of the loungers, he pushed his sunglasses on, leaned his head back on the cushion, and willed his body to relax. Water swished on the sand, boats hummed in the distance, and farther down the shore, bursts of laughter carried in the breeze from the small resort neighboring Rand’s private beach and waterfront home.
Vacation. He’d cleared his appointments for the next two weeks, and barring emergencies, the last days of summer were his to enjoy… except for one surly patient who’d needed a place to recuperate.
Rand slanted a glance toward his yacht, Hard Limits, anchored fifty yards offshore.
Roman St. Ives would likely be staying a week or two more, and to make life easier for Rand’s efficient but slightly dyslexic housekeeper, Rome had opted to use his nickname “Saint” while staying here. Owner of a construction empire, the Dom was also a professional rigger who tied up female submissives at BDSM demos or parties, usually for another Dom’s devilish fun. Rumor had it, Saint rarely participated in scenes, ménage in particular.
Thoughts of an aroused submissive—especially one squirming between two Doms—made Rand’s cock ridge his swimsuit. Yeah, he definitely needed a woman. Closing his eyes, he savored memories of past threesomes and imagined finding the right submissive for a future ménage relationship.
One-on-one sex? Just no. He’d never risk the emotional fallout again.
The steady clip of beachcombers shuffling through the sand caught Rand’s attention, and he cracked his eyes open. When the clipping stopped, a shapely feminine shadow hovered over his lap, as if for a spanking. A smile curved his lips.
“Excuse me.” A tinge of impatience edged her voice. “Is this where the snorkeling classes are?”
Rand slid a quick, assessing glance over the smallish blonde standing by his chair. About thirty, 5’5”, 120 pounds, and outwardly in good health. Her navy, one-piece swimsuit hugged her slender curves, and small pearl earrings adorned her ears. No necklace or rings.
He met her gaze. “It can be.”
“Are you the instructor?” She pushed her sunglasses to the crown of her honey-blonde head, and frowned at the diving mask and snorkel lying by his chair. Her large, rather stunning tawny eyes flickered to the resort. “A waiter over at the bar said the class met on this side of the beach.”
Rand’s towel slid off his shoulders as he rolled up out of the chair and stood. “I can teach you how to snorkel. Would you like a private lesson?”
Her eyes widened as she scanned his torso, pausing on the small silver rings that pierced his nipples. “Wow. The resort should hire you for more than scuba classes.” She raised her gaze and squinted. “Are you licensed?”
“I am.” As a doctor and a pilot. Standing this close to her, Rand smelled alcohol wafting in the air between them. He raised a brow, waiting for her next intoxicated move.
“Are there other students in the class?” She glanced around the empty beach, remarkably steady on her feet considering the fumes.
“Nope. I’m all yours.” The resort bordered Rand’s property, and occasionally guests wandered over. This time he didn’t mind. “I know first aid too.”
“Jeez, I hope I don’t need it.” She smirked. “Maybe you shouldn’t mention that right away—although I’m glad they hired you for more than your looks.”
Smartass little filly. Clearly, the woman had done more at the bar than just talk to the waiter. No chance in hell would Rand let this drunk little trespasser go near the ocean now. His mouth twitched. “Isn’t it conceivable that a man is both attractive and intelligent?”
She had the grace to look down. “I’m sorry, that just blurted out. I’m sure you’re good at your job.”
“I do all right.” He caught a whiff of strawberry dancing with the tequila fumes. “I’ve found control is crucial in life. For example, I don’t let people into the water if they’ve been drinking.”
“You can smell it?” She clapped a hand over her mouth and mumbled, “I only had one.”
He’d bet the “one” was the resort’s triple-shot margarita served in bucket-size brandy snifters. One was all a person needed—for the whole damn day.
“We should wait a while before beginning your lesson.” He pointed to the other chair. “Have a seat.”
She shook her head. “I’ll come back. You probably have other classes. It must take a lot of hours to make this job pay.”
Now a slur on his earning potential. “I usually work long hours, yes.”
“What about during winter? I mean this is seasonal—” A rosy color infused her cheeks. “I’m sorry. My tongue is out of control. It must be the alcohol.”
And serious issues with men. “I’m content with my life. Why don’t you tell me a little about yours?”
Her gaze dropped. “You don’t have to be so nice. Therapy isn’t part of your job.” A sigh gusted from her lips. “I sound bitter, huh?”
“Sit down. We’ll start over.” He waited until she’d settled on her chair before he sat back down on his. Her classy, well-groomed appearance screamed upper-class demographic, but clearly there was a lot stewing under the surface. At least one male had wounded this woman. He offered his hand. “Hello. I’m Rand Johnson… Rand.”
“Pleased to meet you, Rand.” She leaned over and gave his hand a brief shake. “I’m Clair… a woman with a chip on her shoulder.”
“We can talk about that chip or whatever you’d like.” He handed her a bottle of water from the cooler by his chair. “I’m all ears, little lady. Fire away.”
She leaned back, face toward the sky. “I usually don’t confide in people, especially strangers.”
“We’re friends now, remember? Just Rand and Clair having a chat. How long are you staying at the resort?”
“A week. There’s a real estate conference.”
“You’re an agent?”
“For the moment. I’m looking at other career options.”
“What would you like to do instead?”
“Is this confidential?” She gave him a soft smile, her eyes searching his face.
“Completely.” He’d bet his Beechcraft she’d never told anyone this secret. “What happens on Whidbey Island…”
“Stays on Whidbey Island?”
“Absolutely. What kind of friend would I be if I couldn’t keep a confidence?”
“You’ve probably heard every crazy thing in your line of work, like a priest or bartender.”
“I have.” As a physician and a Dom—both necessitated protecting private information. “But we’re talking about you now.”
“Well… since you really want to know.” She paused and blew out a deep breath. “I’d like to write stories. Erotic stories. There, I said it. My family would disown me.”
“Oh, you’re good.” Her head sank back against the chaise, and her shoulders relaxed a bit. Amusement curved her lips. “A few minutes ago, I would have bet you’d rather talk about yourself.”
“Because of my appearance?”
“That, and you’re a male.” She flashed a crooked grin. “See, it isn’t all about your looks.”
“I’m relieved. Although you don’t seem to have a high opinion of men in general.”
“Oh, I like men… in general. I’ve actually had a couple of nice boyfriends, but I didn’t want to set up house with them.”
“A brief physical attraction can be fun too.”
Her gaze swept his chest, and she lifted a hand to fan herself. “Whew. I may need more alcohol to think clearly in all this heat. Do you have anything stronger in that cooler?”
He chuckled. “Yes, but we’ll have to postpone your lesson until tomorrow.”
“That’s okay. I’d rather talk with you.”
Rand produced a flask of tequila and a slice of lime, which he handed to her. “You didn’t want to go snorkeling, did you?”
“Not really, but I want to be braver.” She tipped the flask and took a swallow. Her shoulders gave a delicate shiver. “I’ve made a list of goals, things I haven’t done. I need to learn new things.”
“For starters, how to trust handsome men.” She chuckled and nibbled the lime with perfect white teeth. “Also, I’d like to swim in the ocean.”
“If you come back for a lesson, you’ll have to do both at the same time.”
She wobbled her head back and forth, a conflicted nod. “Well, now that we’re friends, maybe I won’t mind so much.”
“Can you swim?”
“I used to, but when I was a kid, I fell off a boat and almost drowned in Lake Washington. Now I stay in the shallow end of pools.”
“Don’t worry. I’ll take care of you.” His cell phone jangled on the towel beside him, and he glanced at the caller ID. “Unfortunately, I need to get this.”
“The ringtone sounds like an ambulance.”
“It’s the first-aid thing.” He connected Saint’s phone call. “How’s your shoulder, cowboy?”
“Hurts like hell. I tried some exercises, and now I need a pain shot.” Binoculars glinted from the deck of the yacht. “I see you’ve found a woman.”
“I might be giving her a snorkeling lesson.”
“Is that all you’re giving her?” Saint whistled under his breath. “She’s a looker. Is she submissive?”
“I don’t know yet.”
“Hell, I can do vanilla. When you come out to the boat, bring her along. I’m bored out of my damned mind.”
Rand gave an inward sigh. “We’ll see. In the meantime, take a pain reliever. I’ll be there soon.”
“Bring the girl.”
“We’ll see.” He disconnected the call. Why was he hesitating when an opportunity for ménage might develop?
Clair set the tequila on the cooler and rose to her feet. “Sounds like you need to leave. Maybe we can schedule my lesson tomorrow?”
“We can. Or, if you prefer, you could come with me now. It isn’t far.” He stood up and pointed to his boat out on the water. Behind him, at his house, caterers were prepping for an upcoming party. He and Saint had removed themselves from the chaos, choosing quieter living quarters on the water.
“You know someone on that yacht?”
Rand’s mouth quirked. “You’re positive an attractive man couldn’t own a boat like that, aren’t you?”
“Not the guys I’ve known. The cute ones were losers, expecting a free ticket because they were easy on the eyes.” She grimaced and shot him a contrite look. “Except you, of course. You’re nice and have a job.” Her tequila sigh whooshed the air between them. “I can’t believe how much I’m telling you.”
“Your secrets are safe.”
“Like a psychologist. Well, I guess I needed to vent a little.” She glanced toward the yacht. “If I said yes, how would we get out there?”
Rand tipped his head toward his Jet Ski down the beach. He held out his hand. “I’ll take you.”