Siren EnslavedBy: Lexi Blake
Texas Sirens Book 3
To the Wednesday night chatters. A better group of righteous perverts doesn’t exist. I’ve grown to appreciate your support and friendship more than you can know.
As always, thanks to my family and friends. And to Kim G and Shayla Black for all the help with nursing me through my “Julian” period.
I’d forgotten how hard this book was for me. Julian was the most closed off character I’d written up to this point in time. But Dani and Finn were truly halves of me. When I wrote this book, I was coming to grips with the fact that my vision of success wasn’t the reality. As many small press and erotic writers found, we weren’t always welcome at the table. We walked into many writers’ groups and RWA chapters with enthusiasm and real book sales, only to be told we weren’t good enough. It didn’t merely happen to me. It was the beginning of the indie and erotic revolution and change is painful. I realize now that this particular book was my reaction to that painful rejection. Fast-forward seven years and the world is a different place. And not. While we’re readily accepted by our romance sisters, the greater publishing world still looks down on us. And yet I am reminded that we have stories that mean something to you—our readers. We have a voice and a unique perspective. So this book is dedicated to all my sisters (and some brothers) who fight every day to have our voices heard, to bring you these stories that are close to our hearts, to show you that you are not alone.
This book is for the writers.
This book is for the fighters.
This book is for you.
Julian Lodge gingerly flicked the four-foot single tail whip and was pleased at the slender line of pink that appeared across Sally’s back. The entire dungeon was silent as was right given the gravity of the ceremony. He quickly laid three more across the skin of his longtime slave’s back and thighs. She never once moved or showed that she even felt the lash. Sally was practically perfect. She never disobeyed or questioned him. She took every punishment he handed out with grace. She was his match, a lovely masochist to match his control freak with a slight streak of sadism. He had been her Master for over two years, the longest he’d ever kept a slave. She’d been his only slave since the incident with Jeremy Walker years before. She’d lived with him, served him, honored him with submission.
He was letting her go.
“Rise, slave.” Julian heard the words come out of his mouth. He pushed them forward, saying all the proper things to keep this ritual moving along. He believed in ritual and routine, was devoted to both, but now he wanted it all over with so he could go back to his penthouse apartment and…he wasn’t sure what came after this.
All around him, he heard the whispers. The Club was like any other social group. There was always gossip, much of it about him.
Sally rose gracefully to her feet. She turned and looked luminous as her eyes met the man beside him. Julian’s heart clenched. She’d never once looked so happy at anything he’d done, but she glowed for Stephen Mann.
The high-powered attorney looked just as happy as he took the whip from Julian’s hand. Julian walked to his former sub and took the collar from her throat.
“Be happy, pet,” he said, meaning every word. He genuinely liked Sally. She’d been a good sub. It wasn’t her fault he wasn’t capable of true commitment. During their years together, he’d never thought of making them exclusive. Their relationship had been comfortable and convenient. He’d known he needed to find her a permanent Dom for the last year. He’d kept up his obligations to her, but his heart wasn’t in it.
Permanent. The word played through his brain like a mystery he had yet to solve.
Nothing in his life seemed permanent.
Sally bowed her blonde head. “Thank you for everything, Sir.”
She wouldn’t call him Master, not ever again. An odd sensation made Julian’s eyes feel strange. His face felt hot. His vision started to cloud. Was he… Oh, hell, no. He ruthlessly tamped down the sentimental feeling that started to overtake him. He wasn’t going to cry. He wasn’t going to think about the fact that he was forty-one years old and had absolutely nothing to look forward to. He had a life most people would kill to live. He was a billionaire, an ultra-powerful financier, and he owned the hottest BDSM club in the south. Unless one considered Sanctum, his security team’s club, but it was only hot because they couldn’t afford an air conditioner.