Steele Brothers - 3
To my fellow 1Night Stand authors, who inspire and continuously amaze me with your talent. I love being in your company. And to editors, Valerie Mann and Kate Richards, for bringing a vision to life. This series rocks.
Rafe Steele gazed at his two older brothers and bit back his instinct to bolt. Of course, he held his ground like he protected his unit. Another lesson he learned from the cradle. When his brothers scented weakness, they attacked accordingly.
“You want me to what?” he asked again.
Odd how all of them seemed to belong to three different families. As the oldest, Rick always dominated both the conversation and the scene, and his resemblance to Thor, as his sister-in-law phrased it, didn’t hurt his image. Golden locks, tawny eyes, and a brutish build caused a person to look for his hammer. Of course, Rafe held that comment back. The last time he’d teased Rick about Thor-like powers, he almost caught a black eye. Definitely no sense of humor there.
Rome acted just as bad. He belonged in the George Clooney camp, as his second sister-in-law confided, with his buzzed prematurely gray hair, blue eyes, and a confidence and charm that made females drop their panties. As one of the best dealers in Vegas, Rome consistently threatened Rick’s command. Of course, since he’d also recently fallen into the marriage entrapment, his domestic bliss softened him a bit. He seemed to completely agree with his brother, and that left Rafe as the focus of this intervention.
The other men exchanged knowing glances.
“We want you to book a date through Madame Eve’s service, 1Night Stand,” Rick said.
Rafe struggled to make sense of his words over the familiar casino noises of ringing slots, heavy drinking, and loud rivalry.
“The place you both ended up meeting your wives?”
Rafe gave them a snort of laughter and ordered a shot of Jack Daniels. “You’re fucking nuts. Both of you. I have no intention or desire to get married.”
Rick huffed. “We’re not saying the date is going to get you married, bro. Yeah, we got lucky, but there’s no way even Madame Eve has those types of odds. Both of us agree you’ve been a bit out of it since you moved to Vegas. You keep to yourself, don’t date much anymore. Something’s up.”
He waved his brothers’ concern away and tossed back his shot in one stinging swallow. Surprised by their insight, he admitted he’d been restless and agitated since moving across the US to join them in their legacy of dealing cards. He’d tried living in Atlantic City when he returned back from Iraq, but the local newshounds battered him on a daily basis. When the women started camping out to make up ruses to bed a real-time hero, he packed up his belongings and moved on. He craved a clean slate and a place where he could get back to what he loved. Dealing cards. Alone. By choice.
His brothers thought he suffered from war stress—specifically post-traumatic stress disorder. Sure, he’d experienced some wicked nightmares, but his uneasiness and secrecy had nothing to do with his military past.
If only they knew the truth.
An intriguing idea skipped through his mind with various scenarios. “So, let me get this straight. I can request a one-night stand through Madame Eve, and she’ll find a woman to meet all my requirements?”
Rick grinned. “You got it. One perfect night to release your tension. No worries about tomorrow. Any secret fantasy ready to come true.”
Rome elbowed him in the ribs. “Why do I think you have something wicked planned? Probably involving a pretty sub tied to the bed.”
“Like Sloane?” Rafe asked.
Immediately, Rome’s face darkened at the mention of his wife’s sex life. “Back off, bro.”
Rafe released a shout of laughter. “Priceless, man. I’m just joking around—you know I adore Sloane.” But Rome’s assumption that he practiced as a Dom punched his gut.
“Umm, is my list kept a secret? How reputable is Madame Eve?”
Rick and Rome shared a glance at the mention of the esteemed woman. “We trust her completely. Everything you ask for is confidential. Even from us.”
He held back a chuckle and wondered why the utterance of her name caused them both to bow their heads in respect. Damn, this got more interesting by the moment. He’d get his brothers off his back, have a great night of sex, and be able to act out one of his secret sexual fantasies. And no one ever had to know.
“You paying for it?” he asked.
Rick shook his head and took another swig of beer. “Bastard.”
“Well, are you?”
“Yeah, we’re paying for it. Consider this our housewarming present a few months late.”
Rafe grinned. “Get me the papers to sign, boys. I’m ready.”
Summer Preston ordered a second shot of tequila and watched the show on stage at Strip It. The sexy lyrics of Prince’s Gett Off pounded through the air while the stripper gyrated her hips and ripped off her leather vest. Her naked breasts spilled out and the crowd screamed. Her skin glittered with silver sparkles, and she flung her whip toward her audience with a teasing flick that made them go wild. Summer narrowed her eyes thoughtfully on the instrument that provided both pleasure and pain. Hmm, would it be too much for the first night?
Yeah. She’d skip the whips and flogger. At least for tonight.
She scanned the entrance. Excitement jumped in her belly. They’d both agreed meeting in the suite would be postponed until they decided if they were compatible. She’d heard wonderful things about Madame Eve and her 1Night Stand company. Over the years, her luck with finding the correct match on her own proved…difficult. Most men switched from arousal to horror when they caught a glance of her leather catsuit and domineering growl. Pete had lunged for the door so fast he’d literally tripped on the rug and fell face first.
She shook her head at the memory. Nope, she’d suggested meeting at the strip club first to make sure they clicked. She’d been specific in her requirements, and thought of this as her first real learning experience in the BDSM world. Hell, maybe the reality wouldn’t even come close to her fantasies and she could go back to normal vanilla sex. After all, her reputation and her image fed the girl next door persona. Her few visits to a BDSM club scared the crap out of her, and her forays into toys and certain internet sites never snagged a willing partner. At least she learned the importance of safety and equipment, but never experienced her own personal sub for the night. She needed to face the truth: strong, dominant males attracted her in the real world, but she craved a man’s surrender in the bedroom. That combination rarely existed. The possibility of experiencing such a scene for one night tempted her. Pricey, but worth it.
If he showed.
She tapped a scarlet red fingernail on the bar.
Rafe pushed his way into the club and took stock of the surroundings. Only a few months in Vegas proved the city boasted the best strip clubs in the country. The unique mix of class, club scene, and nakedness pulled in record crowds. The three main bars were strategically placed around the room. One snaked around the perimeter of the stage, and the others huddled in dark corners, which lent to the aura of sensuality and privacy. The catwalk glittered with vivid neon colors and sparkles, and flashed in time to whatever music currently played. Skimpily dressed waiters and waitresses balanced trays of cocktails, as they shifted around onlookers watching the trio of half-clothed women doing a mock up of the Flashdance skit. When water splashed the front rows, cheers rang through the air. Two dance floors on the second level looked over the stage, and catered to the club crowd.
Damn, he loved Vegas. He headed toward the bar in the far back, where they’d agreed to meet. He’d been impressed with her rendezvous choice, agreeing the suite was too personal for an introduction. A sensual feast of visual and physical stimuli, Strip It urged sexual explorations to the fullest. He hoped the scene proved a good precursor to his evening.
He only had a general description of his one-night stand, choosing to forego the photo as he wanted to be surprised. He relied on two factors only. She sat at the corner left barstool and had blonde hair. He expected a sexual vixen dressed in leather with a kick ass personality.
Instead, his gaze cut straight to an angel.
She was all wrong.
The woman sat at the bar with a shot at her elbow, her jeans and simple white T-shirt fading into the crowd of peacocks mingling around her. His heart sank. A Dominatrix? Impossible. He’d eat her up in one bite and she’d be screaming for the door. Fighting his temper, he clenched his jaw. Attractive, yes. Her shimmering white-blonde hair gleamed like a halo in a ponytail. Big, china blue eyes dominated her softly curved face. A generous bow curved her lower lip and she had a killer body, evident in the perfect hour glass waist, small, high breasts with perky nipples, and a luscious ass sitting atop the red leather barstool. He studied her white Keds and almost groaned in defeat. Not even a spiked heel in sight. He was screwed.
And not in a good way.
Madame Eve had finally reached the end of her winning streak. With a deep, resigned breath, he closed the distance between them.