Slave To Love
Mouse over the cover to see
the hero, Mick McGraw
Slave To Love
Cajun Hot Press
Special Investigations Section Officer Caroline Palmer is not into whips and chains…
That is, not until Homicide Detective Michael ‘Mick’ McGraw—better known as The Iceman—leads her undercover into a secret world she never dreamed existed. He says they are tracking a sexual predator, a sadistic killer who preys on adventurous suburban couples. But Caroline knows Mick is looking for something else.
Something much more dangerous…
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Mick stared at the tangle of leather latigo straps held together by buckles and steel O-rings and balked. He’d look like some kind of extra for a Conan movie. Or worse. “This is not what I had in mind.”
Caroline and the cute oriental salesgirl at the kinky clothing store they’d gone to on Hollywood Boulevard both gave him knowing looks.
“Just what, exactly, did you have in mind?” Caroline asked with what might have been amusement in her voice. When she let her gaze linger on his button-down shirt and tie with the black jeans he’d purchased the night before, he drew himself up to his full six-foot-four and glared down at her.
“I was going to wear a T-shirt with the jeans. A black T- shirt. I just didn’t have one with me today.”
“Uh-huh,” she stated in that annoying female way she had. “What’s the matter, McGraw? Afraid to show a little skin?”
“Hardly. I just think this is a bit extreme.”
Caroline appealed to the sales girl. “Do you think it’s extreme? We’re dressing up as Master and slave for a party.”
“It’s perfect,” the other woman answered with a smile. “Very authentic. All the real Masters are wearing this kind of torso harness these days. The look is very Middle Ages and domineering. And it comes with a fun attachment–” She held up a foot-or-so long strip of matching latigo, with a buckle on one end and a dollar-sized brass ring on the other.
Jesus. He glanced at Caroline. Judging from the guileless expression on her face, she had no clue as to its actual purpose.
“I don’t think so,” he said firmly. It would be a cold day in hell when he wore a cock ring in public.
Caroline picked up the harness on its hanger. “Fine. Forget the attachment, but you’re trying it on.” She gripped his arm and pulled him toward the back dressing rooms, calling over her shoulder to the salesgirl, “Black leather pants. Something that goes with the harness.”
“Officer Palmer,” he ground out between his teeth, “I have no intention of–”
“Look. You brought me into this gig because of my expertise with costume, right?” She steered him into the dressing room and shut the door behind them. It was a roomy place with a plush easy chair, lots of mirrors and a solid door. With a lock.
His nerves shimmered. He watched her put the hanger on a peg and slip the leather harness off it.
He met her gaze. It was obvious she was unaware she had a tiger by the tail and had locked herself in the cage with it.
“So, trust me. I know what I’m doing.”
“I have no doubt of that. But I thought we were here to buy stuff for you.” He glanced at the short skirt, tank top and fuck-me shoes she’d worn for their shopping expedition. Not that her outfit needed all that much beefing up. Maybe a leather slave collar…
“You be a good boy and try this on, McGraw, and I might let you dress me up afterwards.” She winked and thrust the harness into his hands. Before he had a chance to even think of a response to that, there was a knock and the door opened.
“I thought you might like this style,” the salesgirl said and handed a pair of black leather pants to Caroline, who looked them over critically.
“Nice. He’ll look great in these.” She hung the pants on the peg and the both of them stood back and watched him expectantly.
He was tempted to give them the show they were waiting for. Mighty tempted. Caroline looked like a wet-dream and the oriental salesgirl was pretty, and had just the right combination of innocence and exotic mystery to inspire fantasies in any customer, him included.
But that would be out of character. So he scowled at them instead, until they got the idea and backed out of the dressing room, giggling like a couple of co-conspirators. He felt decidedly outnumbered. And more than a little horny.
He swiftly shed his shirt and tie, and donned the latigo harness, which, with a few buckle adjustments fit him like a second skin. Felt just like home. He rejected the feeling soundly. It must be the habitual weight of his gun rig cinched under his arm he was missing.
He stared somberly at his reflection in the mirror. Looking calmly back at him was the very image of the man he’d been running from his whole life.
“You ready yet?” Caroline called from just outside the door, snapping him out of his grim thoughts.
“Almost.” Jaw clamped, he slid out of his stiff jeans and pulled on the leather pants. Image complete.
The door cracked open and her head peeked around. “You decent?”
A number of retorts ran through his mind, but he clipped out, “Yes. And next time knock.”
He spotted her in the mirror and almost choked. Instead of the tank top, she had on a satin, lace-up corset that showed just the right amount of her pale, smooth body in just the right shape to seriously turn him on.
“Jesus H. Christ,” he said, fighting for a shade of derision in his tone, rather than reveal his true reaction. “You aren’t seriously thinking of wearing that, are you?”
Ignoring his comment, she stepped purposefully into the room, followed by the clerk, and fussed at the latigo straps criss-crossing his back and chest.
“Nice, McGraw. Very sexy.”
He reminded himself they were supposed to be a steady couple dressing for a theme party. He tolerated her hands on him because the salesgirl would think it strange if he batted them away. But he didn’t like it. Her hands and the corset were giving him ideas. Ideas best left miles alone.
He wasn’t about to break his rules. Even for the most tantalizing woman he’d met in decades.
She was a cop. And he had to work with her. Way too risky.
He caught the two women assessing his pants. He planted his fists on his hips and narrowed his eyes.
“Too baggy,” they said in unison and turned to file out before he could draw breath to protest. They weren’t baggy. They were ample.
And it was a fucking good thing, too.
By the time Caroline came back with another pair of leather pants for him to try, he had his unruly mind and body under strict control.
Right up until he saw the new outfit she was in. Thigh-high spike-heeled boots and the skimpiest leather demi-bra he’d ever seen in his life. Along with her black miniskirt, the combination made it nearly impossible to breathe.
“What do you think?” she asked, studying herself critically in the mirror as she handed him the pants to try on.
“Too dom,” he choked out, striving for a neutral expression. “You’re supposed to be my slave.”
Jesus. The very thought had his head spinning. And his body betraying him big-time.
“Yeah, you’re right. Though…maybe with a collar?” She turned to him, a question in her eyes.
Something in his own must have warned her off. “No, maybe not.” She hurried out and shut the door with a smack.
He gritted his teeth and yanked off the pants he was wearing in favor of the ones she’d given him. There was no way he’d get them fastened. Not with those laces back and front, and definitely not with this killer hard-on.
He was still fumbling with the ridiculous closings when she knocked.
“I can’t get these damned things laced,” he snarled.
He was not having a good time. How he would ever survive this hellish assignment he hadn’t the slightest idea. What the devil had possessed him to choose her to go undercover with? But he knew the answer to that before the question had even finished forming in his mind.
She walked in wearing her shoes again instead of the boots. She’d added a leather slave collar, studded and sporting a leash-ring on the front of it.
“Here, let me help you,” she murmured. She dropped to her knees behind him, and grasped the ends of the ties that laced up the back of the pants. His stomach dropped along with her, and his pulse went into hyperspace as he watched her in the mirrors.
“Caroline,” he warned, but she wasn’t paying attention. She was plucking at the laces over his butt, a focused look etched on her face. She had no idea what she was doing to him. Her hands caressed down his backside, smoothing the wrinkles from the leather. His muscles flexed into taut bundles under her fingers.
Her breasts were practically spilling out of the leather crescents of the bra. The black of her slave collar contrasted erotically with the long white column of her neck. Her tongue peeked out from between her moist lips in an unstudied move of concentration. Her hands on his ass were fast sending him over the edge. He endured about another ten seconds of her ministrations before snapping.
He spun, braced his legs apart, and drove his fingers through her hair, holding her head rigid between his hands.
Her eyes widened and her hands fluttered to rest on his abdomen. “What?” Her lush red lips parted as she peered up at him. They were the sensual, pouting lips of a natural-born fellatrice.
His erection throbbed under the tight, slick leather binding his hips. Right then as he held her, a tongue’s length away from his bursting need, he vowed to have her. Just like this. Exactly like this. On her knees before him, his fingers wound in her hair. Only, there would be no supple leather barrier to protect her from him. From his lust.
The image shook him to the core.
“These pants don’t work for me,” he ground out.
Her gaze wavered, flicked down in sudden awareness to the blatant arousal in serious danger of breaching the low-slung leather waist. Shock rounded those fellatrice lips into an ‘O’ of surprise and she jerked her hands from his groin.
“Yes, I see what you mean,” she said, clearing her throat, and he could see her struggle to appear undaunted. “Maybe we should try something a bit…roomier.”
Again she disappeared through the door and he wiped the sweat that had gathered on his brow. Placing a shaky hand on the wall, he leaned in and gathered his wits.
This was never going to work. He had to get rid of her. If he didn’t, he would jump her, sure as his name was Michael Patrick McGraw. There was a limit to the strength of his icy facade. And she was fast chipping through it. Too damn fast.
She’d have to quit the task force. He was sorry, but that was the only solution. She’d been right yesterday. There was no way they could ever work together. Okay, so he was a male chauvinist Neanderthal pig, but there it was. All he could think about was tearing her clothes off.
And that was no way to catch a killer.
He’d talk to Bobby this afternoon. Then he’d break it to her as gently as he could.
Sorry, baby. You’re history.