Jackie had planned to have Reyes' uniform delivered to his office a piece at a time in tiny intimidating packages. However, she grew too impatient to stretch out the terror until his official Saturday orientation as her bitch. She called him to lunch on Tuesday and he met her at A La Mode, a vintage clothing store in downtown Atlanta. Sipping champagne since she planned to take the rest of the day off, Jackie sat in a rear office and watched him enter the shop in the security monitors. Both the proprietor and her friend, Ann, welcomed him warmly, and Reyes turned on the charm as he usually did with all women whether he was attracted to them or not.

The cheap cameras lost the nuances of Reyes' sooty black hair and inky blue suit, but he had all the gluttony inducing appeal of a bathtub full of chocolate.

"Damn, he's fine," Jackie reluctantly muttered against the lipstick-stained rim of her champagne flute.

She drank in his swaggering walk past the regular dressing rooms and around to the back where Ann kept a private room that Jackie had rigged with a nanny cam.

After swooping behind a thick red velvet curtain, Reyes began to strip. His jacket and then his crisp white shirt peeled away from his honey chest. He spoke to Ann through the curtain and soon drew back the velvet to take a pink lingerie box with a smile.

Jackie's thighs clenched in anticipation.

Reyes looked amused as he set the box on a nearby chair, but he finished removing his shirt much more slowly than he'd begun.

"Turn around. Turn around!" She didn't get to see his face when he opened the box, but his neck snapped back sufficiently to indicate that he was not pleased with his proposed new uniform.

Shirtless and shocked, Reyes swept open the red velvet curtain and called to Ann. "I believe there's been a mistake."

She solicitously hurried over from a carton of seamed stockings.

Reyes put the box under her pert little nose.

Ann smiled politely and shook her red head. "Oh, don't worry. One size fits all."

"Fits what? My thumb? This piece of gauze—"

"It's fishnet, sugar. Don't worry!" Ann patted his cheek as though he were a fussy child. "Now you run along and get dressed before Jackie gets here."

“Where the hell is she?"

"She told me to tell you, and I quote, 'Don't worry your pretty little head about that.'" Ann glanced pointedly at his crotch and then sauntered off to the storefront.

Red-faced, Reyes retreated into the dressing room. He slung the box onto a chair and groaned. "What else did you expect?"

At the other end of the hall in Ann's office, Jackie watched Reyes shed his shoes and pants and then don the assless fishnet body stocking that she'd picked out for him. He put the asshole in front, presumably to keep his junk uncaged and apparently failing to anticipate her vast strap-on collection.

Though ordinarily Reyes got off on being bossed, he was not hard when he slumped in a dressing room chair and twined his fingers into his hair.

Jackie watched him tug at his scalp and knew that he was sweating it; she licked a smile from her lips. Sure enough, after a stint of knee bouncing, he dug his cellphone out of his pants pocket and called her. She let the call go to voicemail, watched him groan on screen, and then she called him back.

"You rang, Rey-Rey?"

Reyes' jaw clenched. "I hate the way you call me that."

"I know. So what's your problem?"

"Where are you?"

"Aw! You miss me, baby?"

"No, I'm wondering how long you expect me to sit here waiting for you."

"Until I get there." Jackie's reply was as cool as the champagne, though her ears burned to hear him pitch a fit as she had gleefully anticipated. "Why, you have something more important to do than me?"

Reyes' snort was half self-mocking laughter and half misery. "If I leave now, I'll just have to tolerate this shit all over again in a month, won't I?"

The booze in her veins inflamed Jackie's prickly skin. "You don't have to 'tolerate' anything! If you're too good for the game all of a sudden, why'd you even put it on? Suit up and take your ass home."

On screen, Reyes' gaze snapped to the corners of the dressing room.

Jackie realized that she'd given away the fact that she was watching him. "Forget it. I knew you were too weak—"


"—to let a woman take charge. Your ego can't stand it! I—"

"I put on this gauze because it's what you wanted. Do I hate it? Yes. Isn't that also what you wanted?"

She didn't say anything.

Reyes tried to calm his tone. "I came here expecting painful abject humiliation. You caught me off guard with a mere flesh wound unfortunately to my pride which is a very mighty thing." His laugh was a little bitter. "I'm not going to grovel at your feet, Jacks. You wouldn't want me if I did. But I'm here. Where are you?"

He wasn't just asking for her geographical location. Panicked, Jackie realized that she would have been waiting in that dressing room had she been ready to accept Reyes' surrender, and he was wearing a lot more than his dick on his sleeve. "Be there in ten minutes," she lied.


Shit, he was on to her. "See you in a few!" She hung up and grabbed her purse.

On screen, Reyes tore off the fishnet body stocking and then pulled on his pants. He put on his shirt, but he neither buttoned it nor buckled his belt.

Jackie looked down at the platform heels that she was wearing with tight black stovepipe pants and a pinstriped blazer. There was no way that she could get across Ann's wooden floors to the backdoor without Reyes hearing her. She took off her heels while Reyes called her phone, and then she waited until his expensive loafers clicked past the office and turned right toward the storefront. As soon as she heard him talking to Ann, Jackie made a run for the backdoor. She nearly reached it before she recalled that she'd left her car at the office in anticipation of getting tipsy.


Jackie skid to a stop on her stocking feet and spun around. She slid hard into the ladies room door, and then her hip ached while she limped past the marble vanity in the anteroom. Once locked inside the tiny toilet room, she slumped against the door and called for a cab. A heavy fist pounded on the restroom door before her call connected.

"Jacks, are you in there?"

Jackie didn't say anything, praying that Reyes' impeccable manners would keep him from busting into the ladies' room. He called her cell and she didn't answer, but she also didn't quite stifle his ring tone. The outer ladies' room door opened, and Jackie shut her eyes when Reyes knocked on the toilet room door right behind her head.

"Open the door, Jacqueline."

"Don't call me that. I hate it.”

He laughed.

"It's against the law for you to be in here. Get out before I file charges."

He snorted. "For what?"

Though she was an entertainment attorney, Jackie ruefully recalled that he had a law degree much more prestigious than hers. "For aggravated, uh, aggravation."

"Oh, I haven't even gotten started. Open up."

"Can't. I'm taking a shit."

Reyes rolled his eyes. "I'll wait."

"I'll be here a while. I had curry for lunch."

"Well, you'll be having me for dinner so make sure to use a wet nap."

Jackie gasped and spun toward the door. "Did you just threaten me with rimming?"

"Threaten? You've stopped liking it since last week?"

Jackie didn't retort fast enough, and he laughingly spurted Spanish that no doubt named her everything but a child of God. "You think you know me, but you don't," Jackie bellowed.

"If that's true, who's to blame? You're the one who makes a run for it every time I get close."

"You've never been close," she cruelly insisted though they'd been friends nearly twenty years. "You've never even gotten me close! I've been faking it!"

"Can't fake your legs shaking or any other involuntary muscle spasms. I know what you feel like when you squeeze around me, m'ija." She started cussing over which Reyes sighed loudly. "Just open the door. You're being childish."

Jackie's cheeks burned. She'd passed the point of recovering her dignity or regaining the upper hand, and the tiny tipsy bubbles in her brain were much easier to blame than the sneaky feeling that she wanted to lose that round. Abruptly, she stood up straight and whipped open the toilet room door.

Reyes stood with his hands behind his back and with an unreadable expression on his face.

"I'm drunk." She lifted her chin. "I got bored waiting for you to show some life on camera. Wasted an entire memory chip trying to record this for posterity." He only blinked, so Jackie shouldered past him to the marble vanity and leaned into the mirror to inspect her makeup. She pulled a bronze lipstick out of her purse. "We'll reschedule this for another time."

Reyes bit his lip while he slowly moved toward Jackie. He'd already taken off his belt; the supple leather waited like a coiled snake behind his back to bite into Jackie's ass. Bent as she was toward the mirror, she was poised for a spanking, but Reyes lost interest as he approached.

Jackie glanced at him in the mirror and tried not to look as shaky as she obviously felt. She acted like she didn't want him to figure her out when really she was afraid of what he would think when she finally let him see her. She smirked.

He played along with a laugh, and then Reyes caught her above the elbows and wrenched her arms behind her back.

Jackie's lipstick clattered into the sink. She gasped when his belt tighten around her upper arms. His foot jabbed between hers and kicked her legs apart. "What the fuck do you think you're doing?"

"Taking control."

She didn't flinch when he tore open the two buttons that clasped her blazer over her braless breasts, and she didn't struggle while he unzipped her pants and shoved his fingers into her folds.

Though he disliked the vanity and time that she lavished on Honey Bun, Reyes did appreciate that she stayed so sticky and sweet. "No panties, Jacks? You had to know that I would make you soak these expensive pants." He tipped her forward, grabbed her chin, and made her look at herself in the mirror while he toyed with her.

Jackie shuddered and gushed against his fingers. Her temperature jumped, and he licked her jugular as she'd done to him the last time that they'd been together.

"Look at how patiently you're waiting for me to take you. What a good girl."

"Fuck you!"

Reyes bent to yank her pants down her legs. She kicked at him as he stood, and Reyes laughed when she fell off balance and teetered to the right like a drunken ballerina. "Careful, m'ija." He grabbed her by the hair just before her forehead smashed into the paper towel dispenser. "We don't want a mark, at least not on that pretty face of yours."

A hoarse "Fuck" was all that Jackie managed to say before Reyes began to do just that.

He shoved deeply into her and stretched her neck such that she could do little but pant while he delivered a rougher fucking than she'd had in years.

She drooled from both mouths while his hips slammed hers against the vanity, and Jackie felt sure that he was trying to bruise her hip where another lover would see until he stopped banging away.

Reyes bent her in half until her cheek pressed to edge of the porcelain sink, and then he started an intense and slower stroke up to her cervix, a baby making stroke.

Jackie shut her eyes lest they roll too far back into her head from pleasure. Sweat stuck her cheek to the sink, and her voice echoed in the porcelain bowl until her panting became keening and then keening became a whimper against which Jackie bit her tongue. She kept quiet until her damn legs started shaking. "Please."

He stopped. "What's that?"

"Rey, I'm aching. I need to cum."

Reyes leaned over her, and pushed even deeper than before. He reached down to her clit and harshly rubbed once. She jerked as though he'd shocked her. "Is that what you need?"

"Yes." Saliva filled the corner of her mouth when he teasingly touched her again, and then Jackie bucked back against him to ask for more cock and a gruffer touch all at once. "Please, you smug motherfucker! I'm begging here."

Reyes smiled and lifted her face to the mirror so that she could see her desperation. "Ask me nicely." He sucked at her soggy mouth. "Something with feeling like, 'Reyes, lover, please. I need you. I want you to take me to ecstasy'."

"Forget it! I'd rather suffer," Jackie spat and sprayed spittle all over.

He grabbed a paper towel and lovingly wiped her mouth and then the counter. "That can be arranged. I have all day and a spanking new set of nipple clamps at home. Gold plated just for you." He licked the side of her face. "Only the best for my Jackie."

"You're out of your mind if you think I'm going to your house!"

Reyes pulled out of her and was satisfied that she gasped in disappointment. "You will if you want me to polish you off."

Jackie watched him pull up her pants and then unlatch his belt from her arms. Disbelieving, she whirled on him.

Though he was still rigid, Reyes tucked his dick into his pants and cocked a nonchalant brow.

She gasped. "You can't be serious!"

"Completely so. You said this was orientation, so I'm changing some of the rules as well. I'll wear whatever you like if you ask me nicely and at my place on occasion. I'll make you a key."

Jackie’s expression closed.

He tried to kiss her but she lurched away. Determined to keep his cool, he politely commanded, "I'll go get my car. Straighten yourself up and meet me out front."

She slapped him across the face. When he snickered, she tried again.

Reyes caught her by the wrist and jerked her close to him. "Hit me again and I'll hit you back." His free hand slithered up her stomach and between her bare breasts. He tugged one of her nipples while he kissed her. "Straighten up your clothes but don't touch. I'll clean you up myself when we get home." He licked her lips to hint at his housekeeping method. "We're making love tonight and I want you anxious for it, understand?"

Jackie understood anxious mostly because making love was not a line that they had crossed yet. Her eyelashes danced and her gaze darted away when his fingers dragged down past her navel.

Instead of touching her, Reyes buttoned up her pants and then kissed her sweetly on the temple.

"You don't know me," she repeated.

"I like mysteries." Reyes buttoned her blazer and straightened up her hair. While he tucked her razored bob behind her ears, the look in Jackie's eyes seemed divided between the same terror and intrigue that he felt. "All you have to do is lay there and take it, baby," Reyes said of his loving, and then he took her hand and pulled her into step beside him.


(Jackie & Reyes originally appear in my contemporary romance, The Way That You Play It.)