Sunday, August 23, 2009

Watch Me Hide by Eliza Gayle

“Em, are you really going to go through with this?” Katie yelled over the loud music pounding through the club.

“Of course I am. It’s what I’ve been working up to for months now. Why would I back out now?”

“Oh, I don’t know. Because maybe when you take off that mask and Rio gets one look at the real you, you’ll be a dead woman.”

Em looked at her friend’s frightened expression, trying not to laugh. It had taken a long time getting to know the people here at Purgatory before she’d built up the nerve to tell anyone who she really was. Now she was tired of hiding, and ready to unveil her identity once and for all. She didn’t want to think about the public humiliation Rio could put her through if he made a scene. She worried too much about him as it was.

“You know they don’t allow masks at the private after-hours party. If I want to take the next step in my journey, and I do, then I have no choice but to reveal myself. Rio be damned.” If the man wasn’t already damned. She looked up at where he stood, watching one of the play stations. Master Z’s station, of course. She couldn’t tell what he was doing tonight, but she knew it was one of the more hardcore stations they offered where they did things like violet wand or needle play.

From this vantage point, she stared at Rio’s profile. Wavy dark hair, tanned skin from working outdoors with her brother, and all black leather—from the vest to the pants that hugged what she knew was the most perfect ass on the planet, to the black leather boots he wore on his feet.

Here in this environment, he made it impossible to read his body language. She found him guarded, more often than not with a stern expression. Some referred to him as El Diablo, the devil himself.

“Em, last dance of the night and I have a slot center stage with no one to fill it. You want it?” Gabriel, the club manager, had sneaked up behind her while she ogled Rio for the umpteenth time that night. She tore her gaze away and turned to Gabe with a smile on her face.

“You want me?”

“Ahh, my dear, you have no idea. Everyone wants the elusive Em.”

“I find that hard to believe.”

“Why is that?”

She shrugged. She wouldn’t get into her insecurities with Gabe. Here in the club things were different for her. She wasn’t the sweet little Emerson whom no one ever spoke to.

No, here she was bold and wanton, and reveled in the attention of the many patrons who liked to watch her. Even Rio. He’d been cool about it, of course, never showing too much interest, but there’d been a few times where she’d caught his gaze as he watched her play. She’d thought the heat in his eyes matched the arousal coursing through her body at his perusal, but so far he’d been aloof, never approaching her.

“So, darlin’, do you want to take the chains?”

She’d been eyeing that platform for a long time, wondering what it would be like to get up there, helpless in front of everyone.

“Yes, actually I do.” Already her body hummed with anticipation. What better way to start the rest of her night than by putting herself out there in a new way?

“Come with me then and I’ll get you set up.”