I’m a huge fan of books with a friends to lovers theme, so I suppose it’s not surprising that I’ve written a few like that. One of my favorite friendships was in Sugar and Spice. Travers and Brooks had known each other forever and a day, so it was particularly fun when they suddenly started seeing each other in a different light.
“What the fuck do you think you’re doing?”
Ginny winced as Travers barked his question from behind her. She turned slowly, sighing loudly. Looks like the bouncer had arrived after all.
“Hey, Travers,” she said lightly. “I didn’t think you’d still be here.”
“Ryan Travers?” Marcus’ voice drifted from behind her and she glanced back in time to see a trace of humor on his face as he looked at her. “Ryan Travers is your friend?”
Ginny was confused by the question, but it didn’t matter. Travers didn’t give her time to answer.
“Yeah, I’m her friend. What the fuck is going on, Brooks? I thought you were just going to the restroom.”
“I got turned around, lost,” she lied.
“Sure you did.” His answer was accompanied by a smirk that merely reinforced the sarcasm in his tone.
“Listen, Travers, I don’t need a babysitter, so I relieve you of your duties. Why don’t you run along and do whatever it is you usually do in this place? I’ll be fine here with Marcus.”
“Marcus?” Travers’ voice was laced with annoyance and anger.
“I had no idea she was with you, Ryan,” Marcus said.
“He’s not with me,” Ginny interjected, but neither man seemed to hear her.
“Well, now you know she is,” Travers answered.
“No, I’m not,” Ginny insisted, but again she was ignored.
“I’m surprised you left such a lovely woman alone in the Voyeur Room,” Marcus chastised.
“It was an oversight. One I don’t intend to make again.”
“Um, hello, I’m still sitting here. I can hear you talking about me.” Ginny was becoming angry at being treated like a naughty child. “Travers, I don’t know who stuck the stick up your ass tonight but as you can see, I’m perfectly fine. Marcus and I are going to—”
Marcus rose as she spoke and interrupted her comments. “It was a pleasure to meet you, Ms. Brooks. I would like to warn you, however, that should you return to visit our little club, it would be unwise to escape your host. Travers,” Marcus said with a nod, “enjoy your evening.”
Ginny watched with disbelief as the man quickly made his escape. Closing her eyes, she sighed heavily. She didn’t bother to open them when she heard the chair beside her move and felt Travers sit down next to her.
“Brooks,” he said softly.
She opened her eyes, surprised to find him leaning in so closely, only a few inches from her. She knew she failed to mask the sadness she felt as she watched the last traces of anger fade from his face.
“Some birthday, eh?” he asked with a crooked grin.
She shrugged, appreciating his attempt at humor. Somehow Travers had always been able to make her laugh, to make her problems seem less serious, her life less stressful.
“I’ve had better,” she whispered. She glanced around, once again besieged by the strangeness of the moment. She looked back at her friend and heard the question she never thought she’d have the courage to ask fall from her lips. “Why are you a member of this club?”
Rather than pull back or shut her out as she expected, Travers leaned even closer and answered, “I was introduced to some alternative lifestyles at college. I met a woman who was into this scene. She invited me to a party and I realized I was into it too.”
Ginny looked over his shoulder and watched the two chained women continue to suck the man’s cock. “This doesn’t seem like you,” she said finally. She couldn’t picture Travers holding a whip or, God forbid, kneeling before a Dominatrix.
Travers smiled. “Brooks, we’ve been friends forever and I honestly believe there aren’t too many people who know me better than you. But the boy you grew up with, the man you know at work, they’re only parts of me. You’ve never seen me in the bedroom, sweetheart. You don’t know what kind of lover I am any more than I know what kind you are.”
“Sure you know, I just told you. I’m frigid.” She meant her comment as a joke, but not even she could miss the pain lacing the last word.
Travers shook his head. “I don’t believe that for a minute. A frigid woman doesn’t beg to come to a sex club. She doesn’t sit in a room surrounded by people acting out their lust-filled fantasies without even blinking twice.”
Ginny laughed lightly. “You didn’t see me when I stepped out of that bathroom. I’ve had a bit of time to adjust.”
“A frigid woman doesn’t come on her best friend’s fingers by a campfire, screaming with ecstasy.”
Ginny shuddered at the memory. Travers had never mentioned that night and sometimes she wondered if she’d dreamed it.
Travers reached up and touched the corner of her lips with his finger. “You aren’t frigid—and I can prove it.”
“Unbutton your blouse.”
Ginny frowned at his words before deciding he was teasing her. “Ha ha.”
He didn’t smile. He merely raised his eyebrows as if expecting her to obey his command.
“You’re joking, right?”
He shook his head. She looked around at the other people in the room and chastised herself for thinking anyone would even glance their way. Looking back into Travers’ face, she felt a devilish streak begin to emerge. What would he do if she took him up on his challenge?
Leaning back, she reached up and slowly began to slip the buttons from their holes, expecting him to stop her before she got too far. Travers didn’t move a muscle, but his eyes followed her progress and she was a bit unnerved by the desire she saw growing there. Once she finished, she froze, her hands lightly gripping the edges of the silky material, holding it together.
“Take it off,” he whispered.
Again, Ginny glanced around the room.
“Don’t look at them,” Travers said harshly. “Keep your eyes on me, Ginny, and do as I say.”
She sucked in a breath at the sound of her first name on his lips. She struggled to recall the last time he’d called her Ginny. Hell, when was the last time she’d called him Ryan?
Ryan. The sound of his name resounded in her mind like the pealing of a bell and she was taken aback by the beauty of it.
“Ryan,” she whispered, desperate to feel the weight of it on her lips.
“That’s right,” he answered. “Say my name, Ginny. Call me Ryan and understand what it means.”
She frowned. “What it means?”
“It means you belong to me. Tonight, I’m your master.”
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