The Rich List Series

By: Talia Hunter

“Ally’s totally professional,” said Geena. “She’d be perfect for you.”

Yeah, right. Ally was a good journalist, but a professional dominatrix? She hadn’t had a decent haircut in over a year and her fingernails were ragged. There was no way Max would want Ally for the job, but she could write an article around this conversation at least. How I got rejected as Max Oberon’s dominatrix. She had to remember every detail so she could be generous with the descriptions.

While he propositioned me, Max Oberon leaned his gorgeous butt against the counter, his Levis bulging in all the right places. His jaw was sculpted from stone and so undeniably perfect it would make Michelangelo cry.

The article would get an awful lot more clicks than her last post. She could still nab some photos to go with it if she was quick enough to snap them before he covered his face and bolted.

She snaked her hand into her bag and gave her camera another tug. If only she hadn’t just stuffed it in with all her other junk. What about using her phone — or had she left that upstairs by mistake? Oh god, why was she such a hot mess? She could scream at herself.

Max didn’t miss where her hand had gone. His jaw tightened and his voice held a dangerous challenge. “Looking for something?”

Stupid camera wasn’t going to come out anyway. She pulled her hand free and flashed her empty palm. “I wanted a breath mint, but I must have run out. You were saying?” She raised her eyebrows. Her expression dared him to doubt her, even while she was mentally cursing herself. Geena had handed her an incredible story opportunity and she was blowing it. “About the job?”

His sharp blue eyes scanned her again, obviously making a decision about whether to believe her or to walk out. She lifted her chin to meet his silent challenge. The one thing she could thank Barry for was her ability to put on a confident face. She might feel like a seething mass of insecurity on the inside, but she wouldn’t let him see it.

Max seemed to like that she didn’t shrink away from his gaze. He didn’t walk out. Instead he said, “I want the woman I hire to commit to five days and nights with me, living together at a secret location. I’m offering ten thousand dollars.”

“Ten grand?” Her mouth dropped before she could stop it. Ten grand would be enough to pay back Geena and save the business her sister had worked so hard for. Ten grand might even provide a little extra so Geena could…

Wait a minute, what was she thinking? Nobody would pay that much money unless they were expecting specialist services. Sexual services. Ally wasn’t a hooker and she wasn’t about to sell herself, not for any amount. Not even to the gorgeous Max Oberon. And she wasn’t sure she’d be up to this job anyway. Five months after escaping from Barry, she was still rebuilding her self-esteem and trying to recover her lost confidence. She wasn’t ready to give anybody orders, let alone a man who gave off a potent mix of testosterone and power.

But think of the story she could write if she got the job. The Diary of Max Oberon’s Secret Dominatrix. No, it wouldn’t be one story but a whole series. One article for each day she spent with him, with all the juicy details. She’d wait to start publishing them until after the five days were up so she wouldn’t blow her cover. Holy crap. The series could propel Liaison into the stratosphere.

Ally glanced at Geena. Her sister was wide-eyed, her face showing the same shock that Ally felt. Geena glanced at the shelf under the cash register where she kept her unpaid bills. She couldn’t hide her feelings like Ally, and her expression of desperate hope sent a stabbing pain through Ally’s heart.

When Ally had asked, Geena had sent her the money to come home. She’d cleared out the store’s upstairs stock room, filling her own tiny apartment with boxes so Ally had somewhere to live. Ally was supposed to get a job to pay her back, but after eleven disheartening and unsuccessful job interviews she’d decided to follow her dream and start her own blog instead. She’d had no idea it would take so long and cost so much to set up, and she’d dug herself into a serious financial hole. Geena had saved her by lending her the money she’d put aside to pay her suppliers. Now those suppliers were getting serious about recovering their debts, and Geena needed that money back fast. She’d already received some threatening letters on lawyer’s stationery, and Ally was terrified she could be the cause of her sister losing her shop.

Ally was no dominatrix, that was for sure. But could she do it for her sister?

* * *

Max watched Ally consider the money he was offering, and hoped she’d be interested in trying out for the job. The Gee Spot wasn’t like any other adult store he’d seen, and the quirky logo and tasteful window display — red velvet draped behind mannequins dressed in beautiful lingerie — had drawn him inside.

Before this, he’d visited a dungeon where the dominatrix had greeted him in a voice deeper than Max’s. She’d worn a thick collar that could have hidden an Adam’s apple and held a wince-inducing torture device in one very large hand. When Max had refused a demonstration of how it worked, she’d tottered after him on her mile-high shiny stilettos trying for the length of half a block to change his mind.

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