Release Date: June 23, 2020
one likes being played…
investigated the Bang Shift out of duty, but the government now needs her in a
way that doesn’t involve torque wrenches or transmissions. The fed’s mark?
Mason Showalter, a newly promoted executive who is the key to unlocking this
case. The FBI knows this businessman’s dark side extends beyond the boardroom
into the bedroom, and it’s his sexual appetite that’ll be used to their
advantage…at Shelby’s expense.
new senior vice president of capital management and part owner of an exclusive
club, yet he still isn’t satisfied. When he meets Shelby, he’s immediately
drawn to her, curious if the beautiful woman will present the real challenge he
craves. He’ll play with her and put her to the test, but he isn’t prepared when
she rocks his world in more ways than one.
The leather of his executive chair still had that new luxurious smell, one he
would never tire of. When he’d been promoted to senior vice president of
capital management a couple of weeks ago, he knew all his hard work over the
years had finally paid off. Being in his mid-thirties, Mason was the youngest VP at the company, but he was also the only one who didn’t have a wife and children at home who demanded some of his time. He’d climbed each rung of the corporate ladder with eighty-hour workweeks, new clients, and the appropriate amount of ass-kissing—though he
loathed to look at it that way. He knew when to stand strong and when to schmooze. It was the nature of the business. He didn’t make the rules, but he knew how to play by them.
he’d spilled any of his own. William Baxter was one of the founding members’
great-nephew. He’d coasted into his position simply because of what coursed
through his veins. The man was senior executive director of private clients and managed the funds of some of the wealthiest people in the world—a position Mason would do anything to get.
born into the family like William, but Mason was content with his track to one
day take over his new boss’s position. Even if that meant he’d have to ruin the
man’s career in the process. It wasn’t personal. Mason would never indulge in
something as weak as emotion in his career. It was business, plain and simple.
was scheduled to meet with his new direct boss in five minutes for a conference
call with some brokers. He knew how to play the game—come too early and William
would think he wasn’t busy enough, but come too late and William would be
insulted by Mason wasting his precious time. It was a tune he’d danced to way
too many times, and he never missed a step.
the motions of his job, saying all the right things without even really having
to think much about it. But that also afforded him the opportunity to be
someplace else mentally…whether it was intentional or not.
the call, his mind strayed to the place it had often sought since meeting the
beautiful Shelby. On the outside, he listened to the execution of securities
transactions, but in his mind, he was undressing Shelby, touching every inch of
her body, kissing every exposed part of her, and bringing her to orgasm over
and over while the voices of his colleagues droned on in the background. He’d
envisioned paddling her bottom until it was rosy and hot to the touch, hearing
her cry out as the confusion of pain as pleasure set in, and picturing her
reaching subspace as euphoria took over her body and mind.
hedge fund issue,” William said toward the speakerphone.
out the scenes he’d planned for Shelby, but that didn’t mean he liked her
controlling his thoughts. He’d fantasized to the point of obsession, and that
bothered him. He was a master at domination, yet could easily detach himself
emotionally when it came to harmless play. For some reason, this one woman had
perplexed him. He didn’t know her, had never met her before that night, but he
was already attached to her on a primal level. He’d found himself dreaming
about her at night, moaning her name when he took himself in hand in the
mornings, and getting lost in the pools of emeralds that graced her lovely face
whenever he blinked longer than a second.
was all. And apparently, that was all it had taken to hook him.
but even that felt false. He couldn’t explain his reaction to her, but one
thing was becoming painfully clear—he needed to get a handle on this sudden
fascination. He didn’t like it when he wasn’t in control of anything, and that
included his own emotions. He preferred things tightly tethered in all matters
of his life, and when he thought of that woman, he felt frayed at the ends.
her away even if he tried. It was that connection he did not understand but
as the man he was, he needed a dose of self-preservation. Hell, he’d wanted her
to wait to be sure she was ready to submit, but instead, he was giving himself
the time he apparently needed to control whatever connection he’d felt toward
her. He could not let normal male weaknesses deter him.
right now. His plan for William had already been put into play, things already
in motion, and he couldn’t stop the momentum even if he wanted, which he
didn’t. He’d worked too fucking hard on his plan. It wasn’t a good time to get
involved with a woman on any emotional level. He glanced over at William and
watched as the man continued with the meeting. Yes, bad fucking timing.
solidified his resolve to help once he’d agreed to. Only now, he’d have to
switch gears. He would still guide her on her discovery as he’d promised, but
there really was only one option for him now.
At. All. But he saw no other choice.
talked about specifically, but he couldn’t see this working out any other way.
If she wanted him as her Dom, even temporarily, she’d do as he instructed. This
would be her first lesson—and a test for himself he hadn’t expected. He’d never
let another Dom top his sub before he got the privilege of doing so himself. He
would have to watch as another man showed her the pleasure of the lifestyle.
not, allow himself to become attached to Shelby any more than he’d already
become. This sudden bond wasn’t healthy, and he was too powerful of a man to
fall victim to it. Shelby was just another woman who wanted to experience
the meeting was over, he’d call Rafe before he had a chance to change his mind,
not that he would. He knew what he had to do, and he was going to do it.
Rick announced in the impromptu meeting scheduled late Friday afternoon.
events. She’d entered Mason’s phone number into her cell a hundred different
times since she’d met him with the intention of canceling their plans. No way
could she do that. She’d be in serious trouble if she did anything to
jeopardize this assignment. She was a nervous wreck who knew the score. She had
to find a way to remain focused on her task and work her mark for
information…somehow. One step at a time. If she concentrated on the immediate
responsibility of the night, then maybe she’d be able to get through it. This
was, after all, her mission.
record, not her bra size. Shelby had a lot to prove if she wanted to come out
from under the protective shadow of her mentor, Darrell, and make a name for herself.
the SEC isn’t running around shouting to all the employees of F and B that
they’re looking for info. Kinda makes our job to help not necessary, don’t cha
get wind of this investigation, they’d lock themselves up tighter than a hooker
with a poor man.”
to flirt. “Anyway, his name is Carl O’Brian. He called his contact with the SEC
to discuss some discrepancies he’d found within a hedge fund. He couldn’t get
the returns paid out to calculate based on the figures they were reporting.
Since F and B is flagged in the computer, the contact reported this to our
liaison, Jerome Parker, who then spent the last couple of days running the numbers.
He couldn’t make heads or tails on just how F and B reached the reported
amounts either. Jerome called with the info a couple of hours ago.”
forced her knee to stop bouncing erratically under the table. “According to
O’Brian, Mason has been assigned to work on the fund.”
She’d have to be extra careful. If it had been confirmed he was in on the
crime, then being alone with him would make her extremely vulnerable. Under
normal circumstances, she’d have major backup, but they already knew she
couldn’t wear a wire, and it wasn’t open to the public tonight, which meant
there would be no eyes inside the place besides hers.
know he has a link to a fund that could be fraudulent. He might not even
realize he knows anything yet.”
if nothing got past him.
giving all kinds of money to charities. Society loved her, and F and B has been
offering that fund in her honor for decades,” Darrell said. “Always giving a
percent of profits to her favorite charities.”
sound as if O’Brian’s concerns were overstated. According to O’Brian, Mason
wasn’t even fazed by the conflicts he’d found.”
He wasn’t going to make any assumptions. He would want concrete proof one way
or the other before making an assessment. Normally, she’d concur with going
that route, but normally, her ass
wasn’t the one on the line. An ass that might end up naked tonight.
predicted. Then he turned toward her. “But you’re right. Before, Mason was just
a possible way to get information since he was recently promoted, but now he’s
a link to busting this case wide open. We need to know what he knows. If he’s
innocent, we need to secure his help quickly. If he’s guilty, we need to gather
as much evidence on him and F and B as we can just as fast. There’s going to be
a lag time between the info you get and when we can analyze it. You’ll have to
make judgment calls as you learn things from him. Be smart about it.”
big-girl panties and do her job. It wasn’t as if she wasn’t used to being in a
testosterone-ridden room. She’d heard dirty jokes going up at her dad’s car
shop before she even understood them. She worked in a male-heavy career. Hell,
her last assignment was working at the Bang Shift garage with mercenaries who
had no clue why she’d really been put there. She could do this. She had to.
This case meant F and B had swindled people out of hundreds of millions of
dollars, but until now, she hadn’t fully grasped how important it was for her
to get Mason to talk. Shelby looked at her watch and stood. She was wasting
to get ready for.”
for Darrell. He looked pissed, and if she didn’t know the man was seriously
dedicated to his career, she was pretty sure he would toss her over his
shoulder and make a run for it to keep her from having to go through with this.
see just what she could get out of Mason.
Harbin is a USA Today Bestselling author who loves creating
stories that explore the complexities of everyday relationships…with some
kissing thrown in. She is a Superstar Award recipient, Reader’s Crown and Passionate
Plume finalist, and has achieved Night Owl Reviews Top Pick distinction many
times. She also writes young adult romance as M.W. Muse because teens like
graduating college and working many years in technology, she threw caution to
the wind and began studying writing at the UALR. Years of trashed manuscripts
and rejections eventually led to contracts and representation. With over thirty
books published, she now serves on the board of her local writing chapter.
in a small, Arkansas town with her husband and their bossy dog, enjoying her
own happily ever after…with some kissing thrown in.