He’d needed capital to expand and, I’d later learned, to bankroll a long list of informants who kept him apprised of what was to be found and where. Informants who made him a very, very rich man. Legally, of course.
In fact, Demitri Gerard had become so successful he currently owned twelve warehouses in New York City alone, the largest of which stood at Eleventh and Kent.
Pulling the paper from my pocket, I entered the code Demitri had given me on the phone this morning. The alarm beeped twice before the door buzzed, the lock disengaging with a loud, metallic click. With a quick wave to my driver, I opened the heavy steel door, hearing my car pull away from the curb as I stepped inside.
A freight elevator took me to the fifth floor and I slipped off my jacket, rolling up my sleeves as I looked around. Clean, cement walls and floors, bay lighting suspended from a beamed ceiling. Demitri used these buildings to house collections that would later be sold at auction or moved to various dealers. Thank f**k this collection had yet to sell.
Sunlight still poured through the dingy and cracked windows that lined two walls of the warehouse, and row after row of draped mirrors filled the space. I crossed the room, stirring up small plumes of dust with my footsteps, and lifted the plastic covering from the only piece of furniture in the entire warehouse: a red velvet chaise I’d had delivered earlier that day. I smiled, running my hands along the curved back, and imagining how gorgeous Sara would look later, na**d and begging on top of it.
I spent the next hour carefully uncovering each of the mirrors and arranging them around the space, angling each one toward the chaise I’d placed in the center. Some were ornate, with wide gilded frames and glass that had become speckled and hazy around the edges with time. Others were more delicate, simple filigree or rich, gleaming wood.
The sun had ducked behind the surrounding buildings by the time I’d finished, but still shone bright enough that I wouldn’t need to turn on any of the fluorescent lamps overhead. Soft light filtered though the warped glass and I checked my watch, noting that Sara would be here any moment.
For the first time since I’d devised this little plan, I considered the possibility that she might not show up at all, and how disappointing that would be. Which was strange. Most women were easy to read, wanting me for my money or the notoriety that came with being seen on my arm. But not Sara. I’d never had to work even remotely this hard to get a woman’s attention before, and I wasn’t quite sure how I felt about that. Was I honestly that much of a cliché? Only wanting what I couldn’t have? I pacified myself with the fact that we were both adults, we were both getting what we wanted, and would each move on soon enough. No harm done.
The fact that she was a stellar shag didn’t hurt, either.
My mobile vibrated from across the room, and with a final glance around, I let myself into the lift and traveled the short ride down to the empty lobby.
Her head snapped up at the sound of the door, and my dick got hard at the sight of her standing there expectant, unsure.
Easy, mate. Let’s get her inside before we ravage her.
“Hello,” I said, bending to kiss her cheek. “You look beautiful.” Her scent was already familiar, a little something like summer and citrus. I stepped outside and paid the driver, turning back to her as he drove away.
“That was pretty presumptuous of you,” she said, lifting a brow. Her hair was smooth with just the slightest bit of wave in it tonight, the front held in place with a small silver barrette. I imagined what it would look like later, that prim little clip gone, tangled and wild after I’d f**ked her. “Especially considering I already paid him.”
I looked back in the direction of the cab before shaking my head with a smile. “Let’s just say that lack of confidence has never been my hang-up.”
“What is your hang-up then?” she asked.
“I don’t think I have one, actually. I think that’s why you like me.”
“Like is a pretty strong word,” she said, the corner of her mouth curving up into a smirk.
“Touché, devil child.” I grinned as I opened the door, indicating that she lead the way.
We were silent as we walked to the elevator and throughout the short ride up, but a new, heavy sense of anticipation seemed to pulse all around us.
The lift opened directly into the warehouse, but instead of moving inside, Sara turned to face me.
“Before we go in there,” she said, nodding toward the room, “I need you to tell me that there are no chains or, like, implements inside.”
I laughed, only now seeing how bad this looked, how much trust she was placing in me by coming here. I promised myself I’d make it worth it.
“No shackles or whips, I promise.” I leaned down, kissed her ear. “There may be a little light spanking, but let’s see how the night goes first, shall we?” I swatted her on the behind before I walked past her to lead us inside.
“Wow,” she said, a hint of color still blooming across her cheeks as she crossed the threshold.
I let myself watch as she took in the room, turning slowly. Burgundy wrap dress, legs that went on for miles and ended in sky-high black heels.
She ran a finger along the surface of a large silver mirror, her eyes meeting mine in the reflection. “I’m sensing a theme here.”
“If by theme you mean that watching you gets me off, then yes.” I sat in one of the large window frames, stretching my legs out in front of me. “I love watching you come. But, even more, I love the way you get off on being watched.”
Her eyes widened as if what I’d said was somehow shocking.
I paused. Had I misread her? To me she was pretty clearly at least a little exhibitionist, and more than a lot fascinated with the thrill of being seen. “You know I enjoy looking at nude photos of you. I know you enjoy public sex. Where have I misunderstood what we’re doing here?”
“It’s just hearing it out loud that surprised me.” Turning away, she walked around the room, looking at each mirror she passed. “I guess I always assumed other people liked this kind of thing, not me. I realize that sounds ridiculous.”
“Just because what you had before was different doesn’t mean it’s what you like.”
“I don’t think I fully understand what I like,” she said, turning to face me. “At least, I don’t feel like I’ve done enough in my life to really know.”
“Well, here you are in a warehouse, with nothing but a velvet chaise in the middle of the room and mirrors all around. I’m happy to help you try to figure that out.”
She laughed, walking back over to me. “This building isn’t yours.”
“More checking up on me, I see.”
She set her bag against the wall and took a seat on the chaise, crossing her legs. “I needed to know something outside of the gossip columns. Make sure we wouldn’t be re-creating a scene from Leatherface.”
I shook my head, laughing, surprised at how relieved I was she hadn’t just shown up blindly. “It belongs to a client of mine.”
“I don’t know how much you found in your digging,” I said. “But I have two partners, and each of us has his own area of expertise: Will Sumner specializes in biotech, James Marshall in technology. I focus more on the arts: galleries and—”
“Antiques?” she said, motioning around the room.
“Which brings us to why we’re here,” she said.
I crossed the room, bending to kneel in front of her. “You’re okay with this?”
“With you taking me in a warehouse full of mirrors?” She tucked a strand of hair behind her ear and shrugged, in a wildly innocent gesture. “Surprisingly, yes.”
I moved my hand to the back of her neck. “I’ve been thinking about this all day. How you’d look sitting here.” Her skin was so soft, and I let my fingers trail down along her throat, along her collarbone. I pressed a kiss over her pulse, feeling the beat of it against my tongue. She whispered my name, her legs falling open as she brought me closer.
“I want you na**d,” I said, wasting no time and pulling down the front of her dress. “I want you na**d and wet and begging for me to f**k you.” I moved to her breast, sucking, before I bit down on her nipple through the delicate lace of her bra. “I want you to be so loud that the people at the bus stop across the street know my name.”
She gasped and reached for my tie, loosening it and pulling it from my around my neck.
“I could bind you with that,” I said. “Spank you. Suck on your pu**y until you begged me to stop.” I watched as she fumbled with the buttons of my shirt, the hungry look in her eyes as she pushed it down my shoulders.
“Or I could gag you,” she teased with a smirk.
“Promises, promises,” I whispered, taking her bottom lip into my mouth. I kissed down her chin, sucked on her neck.
She gripped me through my trousers, my body already responding, my c**k hard in her palm.
I unfastened her dress and pushed it open, pulling her arms free and tossing it to the side. Her bra followed closely behind.
“Tell me what you want, Sara.”
She hesitated, watching me, before whispering, “Touch me.”
“Where?” I asked and trailed a finger up her thigh. “Here?”
Her skin was milky white against the red velvet of the chaise—the image better than any I’d conjured up on my own—and I nibbled her hip bone as I slipped the tiny scrap of lace she wore down her legs. Dipping a finger inside, I sucked in a sharp breath at how wet she was already. I circled my thumb over her clit, both of us looking down to where I touched her. I watched the muscles of her stomach quiver, heard the soft sounds as I moved over her wet skin.
Standing, I unfastened my trousers, tossing a condom to the chaise before pushing my clothes down my hips. She didn’t waste any time, sitting up and taking me in her hand, running her tongue along the head of my cock. I watched as she sucked on the tip, her lips warm and wet.
Glancing up, I caught our reflection across the room. She held on to my hips, her pretty caramel-colored hair twisted around my fingers, her head bobbing as she moved over me. I forced myself not to look down, knowing what her long, dark lashes would look like from this angle, resting against her pink cheeks.
Or better, her dark eyes open as she looked up.
I felt the point where each of her fingers gripped me, felt the soft brush of her hair against my stomach, the heat of her mouth and the vibration of each encouraging moan. It felt so f**king good. Too good.
“Not yet,” I said, gasping but somehow managing to pull away. I ran my fingers along her lips. It was so tempting to just watch her suck me off, to let myself come down her throat. But I had other plans. “Turn around. I want you on your knees.”
She did as I asked, glancing over her shoulder at me as I stood behind her.
That look nearly did me in and I had to force myself to think of spreadsheets—or even Will’s bad jokes—as I reached for the condom and tore it open, sliding it over my length. I gripped her hip, taking one hand and guiding myself to her entrance, rubbing my tip against her before pressing down and pushing inside.
Her head fell forward, hiding her face from my view. That wouldn’t do at all.
I reached out, wrapping my hands in her hair, and pulled, bringing her head back up.
Her breath caught, eyes wide in surprise and hunger. “There you are,” I said, drawing back slightly and shifting forward. “Right there.” I nodded to the mirror opposite us. “I want you to look right there, yeah?”
She licked her lips, nodding as best she could.
“Do you like that?” I asked, tightening my hold.
I moved faster, watching her with something like awe. It was clear she was letting me lead tonight, take what I wanted. The gears spun in my head, already trying to sort out how I could draw her out, how I could make her as tangled with need as I felt when I was close to her.
“See how much better it makes it?” I asked, following our every movement in the mirror as I continued to push in and out of her tight body. “See how perfect that is?” I circled my hips, sped up my movements. “And over there.” I tilted her head to the right, to another mirror angled toward us. “Fuck. Look at the way your tits move as I f**k you. The curve of your back. Your f**king perfect ass.”
I brought my hands from her hair to her shoulders, gripping them, using them for leverage. I squeezed the muscle there, my thumbs bracketing the curve of her spine. Her skin was slick with sweat, her hair beginning to cling to her forehead. I bent my knees to change the angle and she arched under my palms, her body rocking back against mine.
She shifted her weight to her elbows and cried out, asking for harder, her fingers twisting into the fabric of the chaise. I gripped her h*ps in each hand, f**king into her, pulling her back roughly with every thrust.
“Max,” she moaned, her cheek turned into the cushion. She looked so wrecked, so overwhelmed and lost to everything but the feeling of where my body fit inside hers.
My legs were starting to burn and pleasure buzzed up and down my spine. Pressure began to build in my stomach and I bent forward, wrapping my arms around her waist to shift our position. She reached back with one hand, holding my hip, pulling me into her.