“Perhaps it’s true.”

Beneath his penetrating glare, she fidgeted.

“I presented a commencement address for a high school in a disadvantaged area last year. Look it up.”

She studied him through narrowed eyes, unwilling to acknowledge that maybe she didn’t know everything about him. On the other hand, the fact that he was still here rather than leaving her the hell alone to get her needs met was proof enough of his cocksure attitude.

“Do you play in the dungeon? Or do you prefer Rue Sensuelle?”

He’d switched subjects so fast that it took her a minute to catch up. “I’m sorry?”

“When you scene, where do you like to play?”

The Quarter had two floors, and the first was set up in an interesting horseshoe shape. The dungeon area was a square, and beyond that was another play area for people who preferred a little more solitude. On the far side lay Rue Sensuelle—or Kinky Avenue as most members called it. There were a number of different settings, separated by partitions. Each was furnished to appeal to a particular fetish. From what she’d heard, there was a schoolroom, a pair of stocks, and a Victorian chamber, complete with a brass bed. There was even supposed to be an examination table. The idea of being strapped to that terrified her.

He remained silent, waiting for her answer.

“I…” Why was this so difficult with him? Willow had negotiated with a dozen different Doms. She didn’t have to answer. Yet she wanted to. “Typically in the main area. I like the Saint Andrew’s cross or a spanking bench.”

“Which is your preference?”

“The Saint Andrew’s cross. It’s”—emotionally safer—“less personal, I suppose.”

“I’m guessing you like a flogging, then?”


He leaned toward her, ensnaring her in his massive focus. For that moment, no one existed but her. And that gave her the courage she needed. “I haven’t had a lot of bare-bottom spankings.” Her body temperature increased, and she knew scarlet had flooded her cheeks.

“You’d like one?”

“From you? No! I wasn’t asking.”

He grinned, and his features transformed. For a moment, he looked less hostile, more human. Inviting and approachable. Feminine instinct whispered that she needed to be extra cautious. A charming Jaxon Mills might prove devastating.