Excerpt from THE CATCH, Published by Midnight Frost Books

The staffer leads me to Michael’s private beach house. It’s north of the resort. I can’t help but notice the tall wooden fence surrounding the property on three sides, topped with coiled wire, and the two armed security guards patrolling outside its grounds. Only the ocean has an unobstructed view of the house. Freshly cut flowers, arranged in a rainbow of colors, overspill from pots by the front door.

The staffer leads me onto the porch.

I hesitate. Common sense urges me to flee. But there’s no place to go.

I knock.

He opens the door for me.

“You look lovely,” Michael says.

Entering, I think of Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf.
We step down into a sunken room with a ceiling stretching up to the second story roof. Wide arches beckon to a dining area and a library. One inner wall sports a tremendous aquarium with salt-water fishes of dazzling colors swimming in clear water amidst coral and castles of porcelain rising from the sand. A white piano rests before the floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking gentle waves. A fire burns. I think of the fire pit from the cocktail party, and the way he savagely squeezed my ear.

On a chair lies a whip. I avert my eyes from it. It has a short handle and six or seven leather straps, and it doesn’t look like some movie prop. It looks real.

“A drink?” he asks. “A glass of Merlot, or perhaps something stronger?”

Do I keep my head, or am I better off letting myself become a fall-down drunk so that I won’t remember anything that happens to me here?

“Merlot sounds wonderful.”

The servants must have a way to hear us because one immediately enters the room from a swinging door carrying a tray with a goblet and a martini glass. The wine’s for me. Michael sips the martini.

It’s impossible not to be attracted by his looks. He’s tall and handsome and relaxed. I can’t spot a blemish on his skin. He smiles at me.

“So are we going to a wedding?” I ask.

“Excuse me?”

“Our outfits. The formal attire.”

I wear a black evening dress that hugs me as if it’s made of spandex. The wardrobe department chose it. It has a deep v-cut in front and a similar cut in back, exposing ample amounts of skin, hiding almost nothing. But with me, there’s not much to hide. My small breasts flatten against my chest, my nipples pushing up tiny mounds of fabric.

He laughs. “A wedding? Aren’t you getting ahead of yourself?”

“That’s not what I meant.”

“I know,” he says. “I wanted us to dress up because I thought this evening called for a certain amount of elegance.”

“And why is that?”

“It’s our first real date,” Michael says. “And you do look lovely.”

“Thank you.”

“I hope you don’t mind,” he says and he steps closer and gives me a soft kiss on my cheek. His free hand strokes my back. When he nuzzles my neck warmth spreads through me and I shiver. I find my hand falling to his waist. He’s leaning down so that our faces are less than an inch apart.

“You are very lovely,” he says.

What does he see when he looks at me?

Our lips brush against one another.

My breath quickens. My heart pounds.

He’s a good-looking man, I tell myself. It’s been so long since anyone has touched me with a caring manner. It’s been so long since a man paid me compliments. It’s been a long time since I’ve been alone with a man.

His hand drops to my backside and he gives me a gentle squeeze. Inside me, a yearning grows, and I clench my thighs. I am empty and I need him to fill me.

I react, pushing my chest against him.

I let his tongue slip into my mouth.

What are you doing!

He steps back.

My body trembles and I try not to let it show.

“Let’s go outside,” Michael says.

Music plays from speakers on the patio. It’s classical music, and I’m usually not a fan and I don’t recognize it, but I like it. He stands close to me, so that my hip almost touches the side of his thigh.

“Are you going to hurt me?” I blurt out.

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