Candy Canes and Cuffs: Sold to the Billionaire - EXCERPT
Ashley gazed around the lavish cabin designated for her and wiped her clammy palms on her jeans. Her heart had been thumping a rapid tattoo ever since she’d stepped foot onto the luxurious pleasure craft. I can’t believe I’m going through with this.
Christmas carols played over the cabin’s speakers and a cheery red poinsettia sat on the coffee table, a green and gold embossed card propped against its pot.
Ashley Carlisle, we welcome you to the annual Sydney Billionaires’ BDSM Christmas Auction. Good luck.
She selected a holly-adorned mint from a crystal bowl and popped it into her mouth. There was just one billionaire that she was interested in, and she’d been studying his likes and dislikes for weeks. She’d honed her mind and body, even gaining a few kilos to obtain the full, curved backside and hips that he so desired. Hours of lunges, squats and other tortuous exercises had helped her achieve the “rounded butt” look. She prayed that her hard work would pay off and that she’d snag the undivided attention of her target, Talbot Stone. Even his name, Talbot, held an apt foreboding—messenger of destruction.
Just thinking of the Stone name left a sour taste in her mouth. The elder Stone had been the man who had ruined her father and sent him to an early grave. Now it was time for Ashley to recoup some of the money lost to her family. The Stones were an unscrupulous lot, intent on stepping over and on anyone to get what they desired. And what they desired, above all else, was money. She was sure Talbot Stone was no different than his father—proud, egotistical and entitled.
As far as Ashley could see, the Stone men didn’t have many weaknesses. They owned various companies, had their fingers in any pie that would prove lucrative, and if things didn’t work out as they’d planned, they had no problems spinning the situation to suit their needs. They were ruthless in business and Ashley would be no match for them in that quarter. Her one chance to get at Talbot Stone would be through this BDSM auction. Through her study of the man, she had discovered that in BDSM circles, he was a well-known Dom, one who submissives lusted after. A Dom with money, power and looks, and every year, he participated in the Christmas auction. She wasn’t an experienced submissive, but she’d dabbled enough to understand what was required of her. If she was successful at the auction, she’d have an opening to Talbot and his life, but, more importantly, his money. She just had to hold his interest for the full seven days. By all accounts, he was quick to boredom, so she needed to obtain, then keep his attention.
Her plan had more holes than Swiss cheese. What if another Dom won her? What if Talbot Stone had no interest in her? What if she couldn’t stick it out? What if she wasn’t a good submissive? The “what ifs” seemed endless. Her short-term goal was gaining Talbot’s interest. If she got that far, if he won her at the auction, she’d need to last for a week before her payment was granted. And there was a certain poetic justice, skewed though it might be, in deceiving him. She was tough. She could endure a week of the enigmatic and powerful Talbot Stone. It could be worse. He could look like the hunchback of Notre Dame. She giggled, relieving some of the tension in her chest. Despite the nerve-wracking situation, a frisson of excitement skipped down her spine. I might even enjoy this a little.
The cabin vibrated and the boat rocked, signalling that they were moving away from the private wharf. She gazed out through the window at the city lights surrounding Sydney Harbour and tried not to worry about the looming auction. She needed to be strong and confident, a mix of sassy but submissive —a combination that would take everything in her to pull off.
She had to do something to relax. She wandered into the adjoining bathroom and turned on the taps for the tub. Various products were lined up on the countertop in assorted fragrances reminiscent of Christmas. She chose a spicy brandy- and orange-scented oil and poured it under the running water, then she lit a Christmas pudding candle, imbuing the room with the familiar scent of cinnamon and cloves. She undressed, tied her hair into a topknot then slipped into the fragrant water.
The long soak in the tub left her relaxed and refreshed and she had succeeded in calming her nerves. Now she stood, assessing her reflection in the full-length mirror.
It had taken her an age to create her outfit, but she was pleased with the result. Candy canes fashioned into a skirt and woven into fishing line floated low on her rounded hips, finishing just above mid-thigh. Red, white and green Christmas mints snaked in circles around each of her full breasts. She’d pulled her long auburn hair into a high ponytail and tied it with a red ribbon. She’d kept her makeup natural but had painted her lips a bright crimson to keep to the Christmas theme. Candy-cane jewellery circled her wrists in the form of cuffs. Strappy red stilettos finished the look. The effect was whimsical but sexy. If luck was on her side, she’d start a bidding war.
She scanned her notecards on Talbot Stone one last time. She had to play her part to perfection to extract a high bid from the man. She needed the money. She loved her job as a social worker, but her student loans were extensive. She also wanted to look after her mother and sister, and she was determined to make Talbot Stone pay.
She startled as the cabin intercom crackled to life and a disembodied voice requested her presence at the staging area. The auction was about to commence.
* * * *
Talbot Stone stared out through the window of his assigned state room, his chin resting on his thumb and forefinger as he pondered the evening ahead. Some Doms requested a dossier of the submissives for auction, pouring over the pages and photos for weeks in advance. Talbot had never done that. He preferred the excitement of the unknown, the surprise of seeing that submissive, “the one” on stage as if presented to him like a gift. It was a Christmas auction, after all, and he considered his chosen submissive a reward to himself. He’d unwrap his “gift” as if she were the most special present in the world. After that, he couldn’t say that he would be so careful. His cock thickened and lengthened as he imagined what he’d do with his new submissive. Tying her up for the first time and turning her ass a beautiful shade of pink to red would be exquisite. Would she cry and scream for him to stop, or would she take it silently? Would she be quick to safeword? He hoped not. There was nothing more annoying than a sub who safeworded at the first sign of discomfort. The submissives on the auction block he’d expect to be practiced in the art, but the thought of an inexperienced sub was more than a little intriguing. That would add a whole new dimension to things.
He checked his watch—a little over an hour until the auction would start. The anticipation was clawing at his spine and tightening his chest. Soon he would have his new submissive.