Title: The Inner Room
Author: Claire Thompson
Release: June 12, 2014
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22493872-the-inner-room?from_search=true
The Inner Room – where submissive dreams become reality
Dr. Marissa Roberts takes charge and saves lives by day, but spends lonely nights embracing fantasies of erotic submission. When a friend encourages her to explore her submissive longings, Marissa agrees to an evaluation to become a member of an exclusive local BDSM club. With that act, a door is opened to Marissa, and her long-standing fantasies may just become reality.
Cam Wilder, a nurse at the same hospital as Marissa and an experienced Dominant in his private life, has no idea the prospective slave girl he will assess in The Inner Room of The Power Exchange will be his reserved co-worker. Sparks of desire ignite into flames of passion as Cam recognizes in Marissa the heart of a true submissive yearning for freedom, and she sees in him a Master who speaks directly to her soul.
Their potential BDSM paradise is threatened by the unwanted attention of an arrogant bastard who refuses to take no for an answer. His secret surveillance and devious plans lead to terrifying results that threaten to destroy not only Marissa and Cam’s careers, but the bonds of trust and love they’ve forged together as Master and sub girl.
Amazon CA: http://tinyurl.com/mpkbqkm
Amazon UK: http://tinyurl.com/mz9w5fd
“You must be Marissa. Welcome to The Power Exchange.” Marissa looked up to see a man of medium height with massive arms, barrel chest and a shaved head. He was wearing a black leather vest and matching leather pants, every visible bit of skin below his neck covered in tattoos.
“Hi,” Marissa said. The man held out his hand, which engulfed Marissa’s as they shook. He appeared to be in his late forties, and while he wasn’t an especially tall man, he looked solid, with bulging, muscular arms and a thick neck. He was wearing a black T-shirt that stretched tightly over his barrel chest. His large nose was crooked, as if it had been broken, perhaps more than once. His eyes were dark and penetrating, and Marissa could feel the power in his gaze.
“I’m Jack Morris.” His voice matched the rest of him, deep and strong. He spoke like someone used to being obeyed. “Tony’s told me a lot about you.”
Marissa glanced at Tony, who sat with her and Dana at the same table they’d occupied the last time she’d been to the club. Tony lifted his glass in Jack’s direction. “All true,” he grinned. Smiling at her, he added, “You’ll be in excellent hands, Marissa. The trainer who will assess you tonight is regarded as tops in his field—a real pro, and with good reason.” He turned back to Jack, adding, “Marissa won’t let you down. This one’s a keeper, Jack, you’ll see.”
You’ll see? Was Jack going to be her trainer?
Marissa bit her lower lip. Where Tony had been understanding of her fears, and had let her go at her own pace, she strongly doubted Jack would go as easy on her. While Jack was certainly compelling, he was also rather formidable, and not what she had visualized. In truth, she’d been harboring a fantasy that she would be trained by someone like the tall, dark and handsome Master Mark from the training videos.
Don’t be stupid. This is the chance of a lifetime. Tony and Dana say he’s the best. He owns the club, after all. He has to know what he’s doing. She realized they were all three staring at her. “If you’ll come with me,” Jack said, holding out his hand.
Marissa glanced nervously at her friends. Tony was smiling encouragingly at her. Dana put her hand on Marissa’s shoulder and gave it an affectionate squeeze. “Good luck,” she said softly. “I know you’ll do great.”
Marissa pushed her chair away from the table. Excitement warred with trepidation inside her as she took Jack’s offered hand. She was ready. She wanted this. More than that—she needed this.
Jack stepped to the bar and lifted a panel, gesturing for her to follow him. With a last look at Tony and Dana, Marissa stepped behind the bar. The bartender didn’t even glance up as they passed her. They walked down a wide hall past a kitchen to a set of double doors. Tony turned the knob on one of the doors and pushed it open. He stepped back, ushering Marissa in ahead of him. The room was larger than she expected and looked something like Tony’s playroom, except there were more pieces of equipment, some of which she recognized, some she didn’t.
In addition to a St. Andrew’s cross, several spanking benches, a whipping post, a medical exam table and a set of stocks, there was an interesting series of rubber strips in one corner strapped to a metal frame. The apparatus was shaped like a huge spider’s web, with cuffs and chains dangling from various parts of it. Nearby were two cages, one upright with cuffs attached at the upper and lower corners, and one low and oblong, with newspapers spread on the bottom and what looked like a dog’s water bowl set inside it.
Muted lighting was provided by a series of sconces set high along the perimeters of the room. Marissa noticed several racks, some with floggers, some with canes, some with wicked-looking single tail whips of various sizes, the largest a coiled bullwhip that looked like a shiny-skinned, sleeping snake.
Marissa jumped a little when Jack closed the door behind them.
“You can put your things over there.” Jack pointed to a small set of cubbyholes, not unlike those found in a kindergarten classroom for book bags and lunchboxes.
“My…things?” Marissa said faintly. She knew she would have to get naked—Dana had warned her. But now that it had come to it…
Jack glanced sharply at her. “Yes. Everything. Strip naked. Oh wait, leave on the heels. You will wait for the trainer on that dais, there.” He pointed again, this time toward a raised dais in the center of the room with a set of three wooden steps set along its side.
…wait for the trainer… Did that mean Jack wasn’t the trainer? Who was? Where were they? She realized Jack was watching her, his eyebrows now raised, as if questioning why she was still just standing there.
Don’t blow this. Do what he says. Remember, you can always use your safeword.
“My safeword is lemon,” she blurted suddenly, and then felt herself blushing.
Jack’s lips lifted into a half smile. “That’s nice,” he said flatly. “Now do what you’re told.”
Marissa tried to swallow, but somehow her mouth had filled with sawdust. She moved toward the cubbies and reached for the zipper of her skirt with trembling fingers. She realized she had left her velvet jacket over the back of her chair in the outer room. She stepped out of the skirt, folded it and set it into an empty space. With a glance toward Jack, she reached for the hem of her chemise and pulled it over her head. Blowing out a breath, she reached behind herself and undid her pretty new bra. Jack was standing with his tattooed arms crossed over his massive chest, an implacable expression on his face, his eyes trained on Marissa.
Just do it, she admonished herself. Nudity was the norm at The Power Exchange. Half the people in the outer room were in various stages of undress, and no one batted an eyelash over it. She was being silly and self-conscious. It was just skin. No big deal. She reached for her panties and slid them down her legs, stepping carefully out of them while still balancing in her heels.
She placed the panties on top of her clothing pile and turned to face Jack Morris. His eyes swept over her body, his expression still difficult to read. “Good,” he finally said. “Now get up on the dais.”
As Marissa moved through the room on rubbery legs she could feel Jack’s dark eyes on her. She climbed the small set of stairs and stood on the dais, wondering what to do with her arms. As if reading her mind, Jack said, “Stand at attention, arms up, fingers locked behind your neck, feet planted shoulder-width apart, eyes forward. Don’t move until the trainer tells you to move.”
Marissa attempted to do as the man had ordered, feeling at once ridiculous and at the same time kind of sexy, naked in nothing but high heels. The position forced her to thrust her breasts forward, and she felt like an object designed to be ogled, which was no doubt the intent of being forced to pose on a raised dais. Oddly, rather than feeling humiliated by being put on display, arousal burned its way through her, spreading into her sex and engorging her nipples.
Without another word, Jack turned and left the room by the door through which they had entered, closing it with a small click that seemed to echo in the empty room. Marissa drew in a shuddery breath and released it slowly. Her nose itched suddenly, and she wondered if she dared fall out of position in order to scratch it. Keeping her head still, she managed to glance around the room, wondering if there was a camera or something tracking her movements. She didn’t see anything. Jack had said not to move, but who would know?
The itch was now driving her nuts. She dropped her arms and quickly scratched her nose. Shaking back her hair, she once again assumed the somewhat awkward position, her fingers laced behind her neck. The room was cool, but she could feel the prickle of perspiration beneath her arms, and the dampness of undeniable arousal between her legs.
She was there on a completely voluntary basis, she reminded herself. She could leave at any time. No one was holding her prisoner. This was just an assessment, and Tony had said she was a natural sub. Not that she needed him to tell her. She knew what she was now, or more accurately, she understood now what she had the potential to become. She was being offered a rare and precious opportunity to be assessed by a top trainer.
Marissa heard the sound of a door opening from somewhere behind her. Though she’d been told to keep her eyes straight ahead, Marissa couldn’t help turning toward the sound. Her mouth fell open as she took in the figure standing there dressed in a black muscle T-shirt that hugged his broad shoulders and tapered along his body toward a narrow waist and slender hips. He wore black leather pants that looked like they were molded to his long, muscular legs, his feet shod in heavy black boots of the Master Mark variety.
Marissa forgot all about holding her position. Instinctively she tried to cover her naked body. Her heart was thumping like a drum against her bones while her mind struggled to place the man with these surroundings.
His piercing blue eyes moved over her body and settled on her face, and his mouth, like hers, also fell open. They stared at one another for several beats of the loudest silence Marissa had ever experienced.
Claire Thompson has been writing erotic fiction and romance since 1996. With over fifty novels published, Claire recently established hew own publishing venue, RomanceUnbound.com, where all of her work is available for direct sale. Claire’s novels involve the sensual exploration of D/s and erotic romance, as well as the more intense and edgy side of BDSM. Her D/s romances explore the power and beauty of a loving exchange of power. Her darker works press the envelope of what is erotic and what can be a sometimes dangerous slide into the world of sadomasochism. Ultimately her work deals with the human condition, and our constant search for love and intensity of experience.
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