Playing with Desire by Erika Wilde

 

Chapter One

It had been a long while since Summer Hughes had done something just for herself, and even longer since she’d had sex with anything other than one of the vibrating boyfriends she’d purchased from Sugar and Spice, an adult boutique that her friend Raina owned in town.

Tonight, that two-year dry spell was going to end, because she was the proud holder of an invitation to The Players Club, an exclusive private mansion that catered to all sorts of sexual adventures. She still couldn’t believe that Stephanie had surprised her with the gift, but she was grateful. All her other close friends had already been to the club and had even found their significant others there. She’d been feeling like the odd woman out until earlier today at lunch when she’d been surprised with the unexpected overture—to attend Stephanie’s birthday celebration at the club, and after that, well, Summer was free to do as she pleased, with whom she pleased.

She bit her bottom lip in a combination of excitement and nervous energy as she glanced at her reflection in the bathroom mirror and smoothed a hand down the sparkly, nude-colored, thigh-length dress that was sexier and more revealing than anything she’d ever owned or worn before. Thin spaghetti straps left her shoulders and back completely bare, except for the cascade of long, blonde hair she’d left down in soft waves. Wearing a bra was a moot point, but at least the V-neck bodice in front was structured in a way that molded to and lifted her ample breasts. As she was more of a full-figured girl, the material accentuated the swell of her hips and the rounded curve of her ass. If ever there was a time and place to display her assets, tonight’s visit to The Players Club would be it.

Never having been to the elusive place, she wasn’t sure what to expect for herself. She wasn’t necessarily looking for a long-term commitment or expecting to meet the love of her life like the rest of her girlfriends had. She’d be happy to just enjoy an evening of blissful physical satisfaction. The kind that had eluded her in all her previous, vanilla-type relationships.

In her daily life, everyone thought of her as the quintessential good girl, but when it came to sex, Summer had come to realize that she was a woman who liked things dirty, and she wasn’t ashamed to admit it. The fantasies she conjured in her mind always tended to lean toward having a dominant lover with her in the submissive role. Being restrained and forced to comply was a bonus. As it always did, the provocative thought made her pulse quicken, and she hoped she found that dynamic tonight at the club.

While she wouldn’t label herself a masochist, she wasn’t opposed to a bit of pain with her pleasure. She’d read enough erotic novels and seen equally titillating movies and porn online to know that spankings—with the palm of a hand, a crop, or a paddle—definitely excited her. And the thought of things like nipple clamps and other sexual devices designed for an extra twinge of discomfort turned her on. She knew this because, with a friend who owned an adult toy store, Summer had acquired her own treasure trove of illicit toys to experiment with and to make up for the lack of sex in her life.

She might have spent the past three years deliberately living a low-key life with a few tame, boring dates here and there, but with the privacy that The Players Club offered, she was ready to indulge some of those filthy fantasies that filled her mind at night and finally make them a reality with a man who knew how to seduce a woman’s mind and body. This evening, she was determined to set her inner bad girl free—without guilt, shame, or regrets.

Ready to go, she summoned an Uber to drive her to The Players Club, which arrived at her apartment building a few minutes later. During the drive, sitting in the backseat of a comfortable SUV, she stared out the window at the passing scenery, wondering if tonight could be a new beginning for her. One that would truly allow her to move forward, instead of remaining fearful deep inside that the new life she’d created for herself would eventually be shattered by events of the past.

Her stomach churned at the possibility, but those three crucial years had gone by without her past rearing its ugly head, and she wanted to believe that it was time to stop looking over her shoulder on a daily basis while worrying and wondering if the person she’d help to put behind bars with her incriminating testimony was going to eventually find her and make her pay as he’d vehemently promised.

After the trial, she’d moved from Washington State, where she’d grown up, to San Diego, California. Since she was an only child with no immediate family left to keep her tied to Spokane, it had been an easy decision to start out somewhere fresh and new, and living in a warm climate and near the beach had always appealed to her. She’d been fortunate enough to find an affordable studio apartment to lease in a small complex owned by a kind, elderly man who likened Summer to his granddaughter. And a few days later, when she’d walked into a specialty shop that made custom corsets, where the owner was looking to hire an assistant, Summer had landed the job thanks to the impeccable seamstress skills her now deceased grandmother had taught her.

For three years, she’d kept a low profile, and she’d like to think that she’d managed to blend in and be a normal person. She’d made friends that she loved and trusted—including Paige, her boss—and she finally felt . . . settled, even if it was difficult being the only girl in their group who was still single, when growing up she’d always envisioned getting married and having a family of her own. However, it wasn’t as though she’d found that one person she wanted to spend the rest of her life with yet. But maybe, after indulging in tonight’s erotic adventures at The Players Club, it was time to open herself up to the possibility of having more in her life and a future to actually look forward to.

Arriving at the address Stephanie had given her, Summer’s driver stopped at the double iron gates that protected the property, where a man dressed in a suit and with an earpiece immediately stepped toward the vehicle.

“I’ve got this,” Summer said to the guy behind the wheel as they both lowered their windows at the same time, intent on following the instructions that her friend had given her.

Stephanie had informed her that there were strict protocols in place for The Players Club, and anyone who entered the premises was required to either be a member or would be on a guest list for the evening—Summer being the latter. As far as her Uber driver was concerned, he’d be allowed to drop her off at the top of the hill, then would be checked out by security upon exiting the property.

“Hi,” she said, smiling at the serious-looking man, which did nothing to soften his all-business demeanor. “I’m Summer Hughes.”

The guy used his index finger to scroll through a list on his handheld tablet, then tapped the screen before glancing back at her. “You’re all checked in. Is this your driver?”

She nodded at his assumption. “Yes.”

The proficient man shifted his attention to the guy sitting in the front seat. “Sir, this is a private residence. It’s a bit of a drive up to the main house, so you have ten minutes to drop her off and return.”

“No problem.”

Upon his agreement, the gate opened, allowing them through. The smooth, winding road up to the top gave Summer a glimpse of the stunning estate, beautifully landscaped along the way with flowering bushes, palm trees, and low-profile lighting. After a few minutes, they rounded a curve, and a huge, sprawling, jaw-dropping mansion came into view that sat overlooking the city. From the outside, the place looked enormous, with a Mediterranean architectural design that was surprisingly warm and inviting and gave no indication of what really went on inside of the magnificent, massive structure.

“Wow, must be some kind of fancy party you’re attending,” her chauffeur commented as he pulled his SUV into the circular drive, where valets were stationed, and one quickly approached the car.

“Yes, something like that,” she murmured, amused by his wrong impression of the place, just as one of the attendants opened the back door for her. “Thank you for the ride.”

Stepping from the car, she steadied herself on her heels and adjusted the short hemline of her dress. She exhaled a deep, fortifying breath, and just as she started toward the stairs to the open courtyard that led to the front entrance of the mansion, she caught sight of her boss and friend, Paige, and her husband, Sawyer, heading in the same direction. She stopped and waited for them to catch up so she wouldn’t have to enter the establishment alone, looking like the inexperienced club virgin that she was.

After exchanging a quick hug, Paige’s reaction to Summer’s overtly sexy outfit was immediate. “Oh, my God, you look killer in that dress and those heels,” she said with an approving grin, looking equally sinful in a black and red silk and lace corset she’d designed and created herself that accentuated her voluptuous curves and full breasts.

Sawyer stepped forward with a smile and placed a light kiss on Summer’s cheek. “I agree with my wife. You do look amazing,” he said, his comment a friendly, respectful compliment. “And it appears you already have a few admirers over there, considering you’re new to the club.”

Following the direction of Sawyer’s amused gaze, she caught sight of a small group of men standing off to the side of the courtyard, conversing among themselves but also eyeing her with undisguised interest and curiosity. Very aware of their heated stares, she fell into step beside Paige and Sawyer as they walked around a gorgeous fountain and toward the entrance, enjoying the rush of sexual confidence that coursed through her veins.

“Are you ready for some sexy times tonight?” Paige asked, bringing Summer’s attention back to her friend.

“Yes, though I have to admit, I’m both nervous and excited about what might happen once we’re inside.” She’d imagined and fantasized about what transpired at The Players Club based on the stories her friends had shared, but she didn’t really have any idea of what to expect.

“All good stuff, I promise,” Paige said with a laugh.

“My advice, for what it’s worth,” Sawyer offered, his gaze sincere. “Leave your inhibitions at the door and keep an open mind.”

Paige rolled her eyes at her husband’s advice. “Says the man who likes to tie up his wife with ropes in intricate, inescapable knots,” she said about Sawyer’s penchant for Shibari, a Japanese rope bondage that Summer imagined was an incredibly sensual and seductive art form.

“Exactly,” Sawyer said, his tone possessive as he wrapped an arm around Paige’s waist and pulled her closer to his side. “Aren’t you glad you kept an open mind about trying new things?”

“Maybe,” Paige murmured.

Summer suppressed a full-out grin as Sawyer swatted his wife’s bottom at her impudence, and Paige sucked in a startled breath, her eyes wide as she glanced at her husband.

“What was that for?” she wanted to know.

“No maybe about it, sweetheart,” he corrected her with a smug smile. “You’re dying to know what I have in mind for you once I get you alone tonight. Spoiler alert . . . the things I plan to do to your sweet, naked body are nothing short of filthy and depraved.”

Having worked for Paige the past three years, Summer was used to the couple’s sexy banter, and she decided that the words filthy and depraved were going to be her personal motto and her standard for whatever happened tonight. Who knew if she’d ever get this opportunity again, and she wasn’t going to settle for anything less than a night of decadent, sinful pleasure.

“Just how I like it, and you, best,” Paige replied huskily.

Sawyer released a low, sexy growl. “Fuck, can we just skip Stephanie’s birthday celebration altogether and get to our own private party?”

Paige laughed at her husband’s sudden impatience. “No, we can’t, because that would be rude.”

Her husband groaned, his gaze shifting from his wife’s to Summer’s. “You know this little get-together is all for you girls, because we men don’t give a shit about champagne and cake. Not when we’re in a place like The Players Club, where everyone is having sex, which is what we want.”

“You’re such a man,” Paige said as they arrived at the entrance to the club. “Patience is a virtue, honey, and yours will be rewarded with my obedience later this evening,” she promised.

Sawyer’s gaze heated as he smirked at his wife. “I’ll remind you of that when you’re on your knees in front of me and have my—”

Paige quickly put her hand over Sawyer’s mouth, her complexion pinkening. “Jesus, Sawyer, Summer does not need to hear any more of your obscene scenarios.”

He pulled her hand away, chuckling as he kissed his wife’s palm. “Chances are, Summer is going to find herself in a similar position tonight.” Sawyer shifted his gaze to Summer and raised a brow. “Unless you’ve got a dominatrix streak and like to top?”

She felt her cheeks flush at the insinuation. “Umm, no. I’m strictly a bottom,” she confirmed, which meant she preferred a partner who was assertive and called the shots.

Sawyer waved a hand in the air between Summer and his wife. “See, there you go, Paige. Summer may look all sweet and unassuming, but she’s a dirty girl, just like the rest of you.”

“You’re totally incorrigible.” Paige lightly smacked her husband’s chest and shook her head, her dark hair swaying across her bare shoulders. “Try and behave yourself for just a while longer, okay?”

He exhaled a dramatic sigh as he opened one of the ornate double doors leading inside. “I’ll try,” he said, and swept a hand in front of him, indicating that the women enter first.

In the massive entryway, a young woman smiled as Paige walked in, clearly recognizing her and Sawyer.

“Hi, Lise,” Paige greeted the pretty woman, who seemed to be a hostess for the club. “This is Summer Hughes. She has an invitation and should be on the guest list for tonight.”

Summer handed Lise the embossed cardstock giving her permission to enter the club, and the woman double-checked her name on the approved list. “You’re all set. I take it you’re all here for Stephanie’s birthday celebration before having some fun tonight?”

Paige grinned. “Yes, we are.”

“The party is all set up in the VIP lounge,” Lise told them. “And since you both know the way, I’ll let you escort Summer there and give her the first-timer’s spiel about what is located where.”

“I’d be happy to.” Paige looped her arm through Summer’s.

As they headed deeper into the mansion with Sawyer following, Paige familiarized Summer with all the various aspects of the club, from the viewing rooms upstairs, where anyone could watch scenes between couples, to the playrooms and the dungeon, where darker acts unfolded. She indicated up a split staircase to the themed fantasy boudoirs that their friend Stephanie had created, then directed Summer through the main area of the club on their way to the lower level of the mansion.

Couples were already engaged in sexual activities of all sorts, and Summer felt like a voyeur as her wide-eyed gaze took in all the kinky scenarios going on around her. Despite knowing sex happened in a sex club, she couldn’t help being stunned by people’s lack of inhibition as they indulged in various fantasies and fetishes in front of an avid audience.

“Don’t worry,” Paige said to her, as if sensing her initial shock at the open display of nudity and arousing depravity. “If you’re not into being an exhibitionist, there are plenty of private rooms to play in, which is what I prefer. But this is a good place to find a guy who is looking for a female to play with.”

Summer nodded mutely at her friend’s helpful suggestion on finding a suitable partner when the time came, still in silent fascination of her illicit surroundings. The soft crack of a whip, followed by a woman’s cry of pleasure, made Summer’s heart race in anticipation. The sights and sounds all around her saturated her senses and amped up her own desire. She could only imagine how much more intense it would be if she were on the receiving end of a man’s demands and dominance.

The lowest level of the mansion was a huge open space where guests could mingle and dirty dance to the sensual beat of the music playing throughout the area. There was also a private VIP lounge for special guests and parties, and that’s where the three of them ended their tour of The Players Club, to meet up with their friends and to spend a bit of time celebrating Stephanie’s birthday.

Except the birthday girl hadn’t arrived yet with her fiancé, Mac, who also owned The Players Club. So, like most get-togethers, the men—most of whom were co-workers at Noble and Associates, a security firm owned by Mac and Dean—gathered to have a drink and talk, while the women congregated separately as they waited for Stephanie to show up. Paige and Summer joined Jillian, Kendall, and Raina at a high-top table, where there was an unopened bottle of champagne and empty glasses that would be filled once the birthday girl made her appearance. They also had cake to indulge in.

“So, you survived the grand tour of The Players Club,” Raina said, flashing Summer a wicked grin. “Here’s your last chance to bolt before things get down and dirty.”

Summer laughed and shook her head. “No way am I leaving now that I’m here. I want down and dirty. I think the hard part is going to be finding the right guy to spend the evening with.”

“I don’t think that’s going to be an issue,” Jillian chimed in, who was the oldest of the group at forty and was married to the very alpha Dean Noble, who was watching her from across the lounge, probably counting down the seconds until he could be alone with his wife. “Being new here at the club, you’re a hot commodity, and you look so freaking sexy in that dress. Trust me, finding a guy interested in doing wicked things to you won’t be a problem.”

No, it was a matter of finding the right guy, Summer thought. One who made her body come alive with a hot, lust-filled glance. One who didn’t even have to touch her for Summer to go weak in the knees and wet between her legs. She might be setting her expectations too high, but she didn’t want to spend the evening with someone she wasn’t attracted to or didn’t have any chemistry with.

As the conversation changed to Stephanie’s upcoming bachelorette party and all the fun, outrageous things they had planned for her last outing as a single woman, Summer cast a casual glance over to where the men were standing together. It was an assembly of incredibly gorgeous guys, she had to admit. All of whom were married to the women at this table.

Except for Rick Dunne. Like the rest of the men, he worked at Noble and Associates as the head of the Cybersecurity Division. Though he’d initially set his sights on Stephanie over a year ago, it had been Mac who’d won her heart, which left Rick as the last single and available guy in the group.

Admittedly, Summer had always been attracted to the dark-haired, good-looking, confident man, but as pleasant and even a little flirtatious as he’d been with her during get-togethers with their friends, she always felt as though there was something holding him back from pursuing her.

The only thing Summer could surmise was that he probably thought she was too inexperienced when she knew he enjoyed spending time at The Players Club and probably preferred a woman who was more accustomed to his darker desires. And now, seeing her in his domain for the first time, there was no mistaking that he was looking at her with a whole new fascination that was purely sexual and caused a flood of awareness to pool low in her body.

Her gaze shifted to the lighter-haired, well-built guy standing next to Rick—someone she’d never seen or met before—but his stare was fixated on her, as well. Then he turned his head to ask Rick something, and after he replied, the stranger glanced back at her. The corner of his mouth lifted in a bone-melting smile, and every nerve ending she possessed tingled to life.

With two pairs of eyes riveted her way, Summer felt as though her breath had been snatched from her lungs as she compared the two men, who seemed to know each other and were probably friends. Where Rick was charming, easygoing, and sexy as sin, the guy with the broader shoulders and muscular physique seemed far more reserved . . . and intense. A little rough around the edges, with a challenge in his stance, which only made him more appealing to her. There was an air of control and discipline about him that spoke to the woman inside her that longed to be under a man’s control in the bedroom . . . and when she dared to envision being dominated and taken by both Rick and the stranger, her nipples puckered hard and tight against the too thin fabric of her dress, and her skin flushed with undeniable desire. Judging by the amused look on Rick’s face and the stranger’s knowing expression, they were well aware of her interest in them.

Flustered by her shameless thoughts, along with their direct stares that made her feel as though she was about to combust, she deliberately glanced away and refocused her attention on the conversation at the table. Thank God no one had noticed her ogling the two men. A ménage was one of her deepest, darkest, most forbidden fantasies, and she’d clearly let her imagination run wild at the possibility. However, even though they both might look like they wanted her, that didn’t mean they’d be willing to share her.

And why did she find that notion so disappointing?

Trying to ignore the double distraction across the lounge, she added her ideas and suggestions to the bachelorette party discussion. But every time she happened to surreptitiously glance in their direction, one or both of them were watching her, and it honest to God felt like the slowest, most sensual foreplay. Their interest increasingly built her awareness of them, causing arousal to seep through her veins and settle low in her belly. Wicked visions formed in her mind, of being surrounded by both commanding men, the pleasure of two mouths and four hands on her body stoking her lust and two cocks ultimately taking her in a primal, possessive way.

By the time Stephanie arrived forty minutes late to her own party, Summer’s entire body felt flushed and restless with sexual need.

One look at the birthday girl and it was easy to figure out why she’d been delayed. Not only did Mac, her fiancé, have a smug expression plastered on his face, but as Stephanie headed toward the table where they were all waiting for her, the slight blush on her cheeks and sated look on her face told them that she’d already enjoyed an orgasm or two prior to arriving at the club.

“Sorry I’m late,” she murmured, ducking her head sheepishly as Jillian popped the cork on the bottle of champagne and filled all the flutes.

“There’s nothing wrong with starting your birthday celebration a bit early,” Kendall said knowingly as all the women picked up a glass, then raised it in a toast to their friend. “Happy birthday, Steph.”

Everyone else chimed in, and after a few sips of the bubbly wine, Raina touched a noticeable red mark on the side of Stephanie’s neck while raising an inquisitive brow.

“One of Mac’s presents, I assume?” she teased of the blatant love bite.

Stephanie cast a playfully accusing look over her shoulder at her fiancé, who looked completely unrepentant for his wicked behavior. “I tried to stop him, but you all can guess how well that went.”

“Our men are such cavemen and feel the need to mark their territory whenever the opportunity arises,” Paige said with a laugh, and the other women agreed.

Except for Summer, who craved that dominance but had yet to experience a sexually assertive lover. The thought of being marked, claimed, and owned made her shiver in delight. There was no denying the envy she felt toward her friends, who were with men who possessed those confident, take-charge traits.

While the girls chatted, Summer kept an eye on Rick and the guy he was with, watching as the two of them approached Mac, who was talking to his best friend and business partner, Dean Noble. After a couple minutes of conversation, more inquisitive glances were sent her way. She bit her lower lip, wishing she was privy to their conversation that was clearly about her.

“It’s time for cake,” Paige announced, and left their table to get the dessert, then returned. After she lit the few candles on top, Stephanie blew them out, and Kendall cut the red velvet cake and served each of them a slice.

“Looks like the boys are starting to get restless,” Paige commented a short while later, her tone amused as she glanced in the direction where her husband was with his co-workers—all of whom were waiting for Stephanie’s birthday celebration to be done so they could take their significant others to more pleasurable parts of the club.

“They need to learn patience, which isn’t a strong suit with any of those alpha men,” Raina said before taking a bite of her cake.

“I think they’re doing pretty damn good considering all the obscene grinding going on between the couples out in the dance area, which is like watching soft porn,” Kendall said, laughing.

It was the truth. Summer couldn’t ever remember being at a regular nightclub or bar and seeing the kind of dirty, filthy, pre-fucking dancing that was happening here at The Players Club. It was definitely arousing to watch just how uninhibited couples could be in front of an audience.

“I don’t know about you ladies, but I’m way past ready to get tied up in Sawyer’s ropes,” Paige said, her voice infused with excitement. “I’ll see everyone later.”

As Paige strolled across the lounge toward her husband, Raina and Kendall followed suit, which left Stephanie, Jillian, and Summer still at the table. Both of the other women appeared reluctant to leave Summer by herself.

“Do you want us to stick around a while longer until you’re more comfortable?” Jillian asked her, slight concern in her tone.

Summer shook her head, shivering as her long, wavy blonde hair shifted across her bare shoulders. “Actually, I think I’m good,” she murmured, her eyes automatically flicking to the two men still standing with Mac and Dean, both of whom were still watching her, their stares lingering with purpose.

Stephanie followed the direction of her gaze, her own eyes widening in shock when she realized that Rick and the guy he was with were clearly interested in Summer. “Have you ever been in a threesome?” she asked, because that was the vibe the two men were giving off.

“Ummm . . . no,” she admitted, feeling her face flush. “But it’s a super-hot fantasy, and there’s a first time for everything, right? Considering I’m in a safe, controlled environment here at the club, I figure why not go for it if the opportunity presents itself.”

Her friend laughed. “You have a good point, and if the way the two of them are eating you up with their gazes is any indication, I do believe the opportunity is going to present itself, so get ready to double your pleasure.”

Summer lifted her chin a few inches. “I am ready.” And she really was.

“Wow,” Jillian said, blinking at Summer in complete surprise. “Look at you, being all bold and fearless.”

She shrugged, though she couldn’t stop the smile of anticipation that curved her lips. “What’s the saying . . . no guts, no glory?”

Stephanie looked impressed by Summer’s fortitude and gave a nod of approval. “Well, whatever you decide to do, have fun, and we’re all definitely meeting up for breakfast on Monday before work because I’m already dying to know how this evening plays out for you.”

“Oh, me, too,” Jillian chimed in.

Stephanie picked up her plate with her half-eaten birthday cake and carried it with her as she and Jillian made their way toward their husbands. Now that Summer was by herself, Rick and the stranger made their move. As she watched the two of them approach—so gorgeous, hot, and self-assured in their stride—her pulse quickened, and everything below her waist turned to liquid.

Without a doubt, she craved them both, but could she handle all the heat and testosterone heading her way?

God, she hoped she was about to find out.