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“We aim to please, Miss Steele”

CHAPTER 18

"You may look at me."

I peek up at him, and he’s staring at me intently, assessing, but his eyes soften. He’s taken off his shirt. Oh my… I want to touch him. The top button of his jeans is undone.

"I’m going to chain you now, Anastasia. Give me your right hand."

I give him my hand. He turns it palm up, and before I know it, he swats the center with a riding crop I hadn’t noticed is in his right hand. It happens so quickly that the surprise hardly registers. Even more astonishing - it doesn’t hurt. Well, not much, just a slight ringing sting.

"How does that feel?” he asks.

I blink at him, confused.

"Answer me."

"Okay." I frown.

"Don’t frown."

I blink and try for impassive. I succeed.

"Did that hurt?"

"No."

"This is not going to hurt. Do you understand?"

"Yes." My voice is uncertain. Is it really not going to hurt?

"I mean it," he says.

Jeez, my breathing is so shallow. Does he know what I’m thinking? He shows me the crop. It’s brown plaited leather. My eyes jerk up to meet his, and they’re alight with fire and a trace of amusement.

"We aim to please, Miss Steele," he murmurs. "Come." He takes my elbow and moves me to beneath the grid. He reaches up and takes down some shackles with black leather cuffs."This grid is designed so the shackles move across the grid."

I glance up. Holy shit - it’s like a subway map.

"We’re going to start here, but I want to fuck you standing up. So we’ll end up by the wall over there.” He points with the riding crop to where the large wooden X is on the wall.

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