Entry for Public Lovin Fanfiction Contest hosted by

GossipLips, JandMsMommy and MissJanuary

- PublicLovinFanfictionContest dot blogspot dot com -

A/N: Many thanks to Max (Maxipoo1024) of Sparkly Red Pen for her beta expertise - any subsequent errors are all my own. Kudos and kicks to Ms Meyer, as appropriate, tyvm, ma'am, for the use of your delicious characters.

This entry ended up tied for third place! This was such a wonderful, wonderful surprise as I read the other stories and they were simply fantastic. So placing in such great company has thrilled me to the tips of my toes. Thanks so very much to the judges. Loved the contest and look forward to more.

My Pleasure

Bella glared half-heartedly up at the Vegas cabby, then shrugged and fiddled with the zipper at the back of her silver boot. "Seriously, it can't be that weird."

"This is Vegas, doll. Didn't say your request was weird. Just surprised a sweet thing like you is making it." He winked at her in the rear-view mirror. If he wasn't at least a hundred years old and as harmless-looking as a teddy bear, she'd be skeeved out. As it was she just smiled a thank you and shook her head. She'd lucked out with Bill as her cabby tonight. He picked her up at the airport and hadn't balked when she asked him to drive around a little and make a few extra stops before dropping her off at her destination. Hopefully with a few extra circuits of Sin City, her backbone would miraculously return.

"I found the place online, you know." She swallowed back a long draw from the liquid courage procured during her first stop with Bill. The liquor burned into her blood, bringing a flush to her cheeks and straightening her spine. Images from the website flashed through her mind─bare skin, erotically but anonymously posed men and women, acts reserved for the bedroom sumptuously displayed within the confines of The Red Door─set her pulse to pounding.

The Red Door catered to voyeurs and exhibitionists. Located in Las Vegas, the ultimate transient population, people from all over the country─all over the world─came to the club for a night of illicit escapism, passion, adventure. And tonight, she was one of those people. "OK, Bill, I'm ready."

He met her gaze in the rear view mirror, arched a brow then grinned. "You got it."

She leaned into the side of the cab as he pulled a u-turn. "Just one, Bill. That's all I need."

He grunted up front. "Hear they're addicting."

"Yeah?" She gave him a grin back, tightening her fingers around the bottle resting on the seat beside her. "Hope not. Slim pickin's at home." She fluttered her free hand out in front of her as though to illustrate her present location far from home. "Sorta the reason I'm on this little adventure, you know?"

Bill barked out a laugh, leaning into his steering wheel in his enthusiasm. "Girl, in that get up, you could walk into any club on the strip and get your wish. Don't know what's wrong with those boys back where you're from, but you're not gonna have any trouble tonight."

Bella smiled at her new friend as she smoothed her hand over the ultra short silver-blue slip dress. The metallic finish shimmered even in the meager light inside the cab. The cowl neckline plunged to her belly, leaving her with the wicked notion that her breasts would swing free of the loose, flowing silk any moment. At home, she cocooned herself in professional suits, striving to present a non-sexual persona in an effort to garner respect. She mentally shrugged again and looked out at the Vegas night. Lit signs blinked, sounds blared, people hustled to and fro, and vendors selling everything from t-shirts to hotdogs hawked their wares along the street outside the window.

"Just one." Her whisper fogged the cab's windshield, skewing the lights and drama of the Vegas Strip . But this was Vegas, the middle of the desert. Her whisper evaporated in the span of her next breath. Hopefully her courage lasted a tad longer.

Finally, the cab drew up to the entrance of a well-lit building. Bill jumped from the driver's seat to come around to help her out of of the taxi before the suited valets had a chance to intercept. She flushed again, but not from the alcohol. No more delays. They were here.

He opened the door, hand extended. She let him guide her out and stood next to the cab for a minute to regain her determination. Rheumy old blue eyes met hers and she offered him a wobbly smile. "One screaming orgasm, Bill. And not the kind served in a shot glass. Every girl deserves at least one, right?"

He laughed again, wagging his shaggy gray head. "At least."

Bill handed her the little silver clutch that matched her shoes. The rest of her belongings were already stashed at the hotel, the second stop she and Bill had made between the club and Las Vegas International. She passed him his fare and tip. Impulsively, she leaned forward and kissed his cheek. "Thanks for the hand-holding. You're the best cabby ever, Bill. Better than a New York City driver any day."

"Chumps," he grunted. "Now go on. I'll be back in four hours to get you to your hotel."

"Right." She stepped away from the cab and up onto the sidewalk.

That old adage 'What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas' was about to be tested.

Bella made her way along the sidewalk fronting The Red Door. Feeling as though she moved under a huge and humiliating spotlight, the whole world watching with avid, condemning curiosity, she made her way toward the entrance. In reality, no one would notice her and she'd told the one person who would take note of her whereabouts a little white lie. She chewed her lip at the stab of a guilty conscience. But she wasn't the sort to come to places like Vegas on a whim. Alice called her a workaholic, too overly focused on her career to enjoy her life. She wouldn't be here tonight if her former college roommate and current best friend hadn't insisted on having her bachelorette party in Sin City. They lived in different cities and though that was soon to be rectified by Bella's upcoming move, she wouldn't have been forgiven if she missed her friend's kiss-off to singlehood.

So Bella had arranged to arrive a day early to allow herself this secret excursion. Alice expected her tomorrow. But tonight...tonight was about a little fantasy fulfillment.

She stepped under the black canopy leading up to the bright red double door and approached the club doorman. Her promise to herself─to be the person she wanted to be instead of the person it was easiest to be─had her striding forward with gritty determination. That burning need to get off the boring path she'd tread the last few years pulled forth her smile of thanks at the handsome bouncer holding open the door. It sent her into the club that had caught and held her curiosity for longer than she liked to acknowledge.

Since graduating and finding a themselves in different states, Bella had clung to Alice's friendship despite the physical distance between them. Somehow, in her mind, Alice was the last lingering evidence of who Bella could be if she dug deep enough─a risk-taking, free-spirited, happy girl─traits Alice epitomized with her every breath. Alice lived an authentic, fulfilled life, no regrets, no apologies.

Bella craved the same. She was so very tired of days just going by, no big ups, no downs, no blinding happiness, no gut-wrenching sadness─just a mediocre humdrum day-by-day drag.

Her answer didn't have to be about sex. But since coming across The Red Door's website a year ago, she'd become obsessed. It became a symbol, a wicked goal. If she truly wanted to be free of her boring life, she needed something as strange and beguiling as The Red Door to launch her down that new path.

Bella wasn't accustomed to feeling envy, but it had raised its ugly little head lately. As the weeks and months passed with Alice sharing all the intimate details of her relationship with Jasper, Bella couldn't escape the terrible envy whispering wicked taunts in her mind. She envied Alice's friendship with Jasper, the obvious love they shared, and the freedom Alice had sought and found in their unusual relationship. She was happy for her friend, truly, joyously happy for her. But it was bittersweet. Her friend's happiness brought Bella's own discontent into sharp focus, impossible to ignore. She could no longer hide behind a busy professional life.

It seemed synchronicity was in play. Alice insisted on having her bachelorette party here, in the same sinful city as The Red Door. So she committed to coming to the lurid club. She'd see if her fantasies of adventurous sex were meant to stay in the land of fantasy or meant to be exposed, experienced. Over the years, she had read more than a few stories about dominant men, submissive women and even straight up BDSM. The thought of whippings, beatings or pain were abhorrent and unappealing. But the idea of being under a man's dominion, forced to feel pleasure and provide his aroused her intensely. A flush worked up from her chest to her cheeks as she finally came out of her own thoughts enough to look around.

She stood in a foyer with an impeccably dressed man behind a gleaming glass and pewter desk directly across from the door. He asked for her ID when she reached him. The application process had been tiresome, the phone interviews intrusive, but as he tied the white and red ribbons around her wrist and her pulse jumped in anticipation, the annoyance of applying for membership in the private club became moot. The white ribbon indicated her submissiveness, the red her willingness for sex. The man went on to lay out the appropriate disclosures and releases and reiterated the use of the club safe word. It was all familiar; she'd done her homework before arriving tonight.

Finally, he pointed her to the heavy curtain at the far right side of the room behind which she could find her appointed locker. She stashed her little silver clutch, inhaled a fortifying breath, tucked a condom at the top of her boot and turned toward the only remaining door in the room. Bright red, ornate and foreboding, she eyed it with intent. She would do more than just observe tonight. She wanted so much more than the middle of the road life she'd led so far. And in her heart, she knew if she could go through with something like this─something so deviant from her norm, risqué to the extreme─she knew she'd have her proof that she could be that girl again─the one who sought out challenges and the unusual and savored every moment of every day. After one screaming orgasm, she'd never let herself settle for mediocre again. Not mediocre sex, not a mediocre life.

She expected dark and over-the-top sexual opulence.

She was far, far off the mark.

Her first impression was sex, no mistaking that. But it was sex in the way of a smooth scotch or a lover's sensual massage, a well told story or an exquisitely crafted erotic photograph. Light challenge the seductive darkness throughout, reflecting off glass and metal to create an ambiance of intimacy. A maze of half walls and glass walls, created a multitude of semi-private seating areas. This was definitely a voyeur's paradise.

Moving slowly along the snaking walkway, she passed a multitude of glass-enclosed alcoves. Movement caught her attention and she slowed. Intermixed with traditional tables, couches and chairs, were glass-enclosed mini-rooms. Clever lighting illuminated the occupants and Bella found herself staring as a couple kissed with fervent abandon inside the nearest room.

She glanced around guiltily but found several others stopping to watch the couple, too. They clung to one another, her hands moving between them, and Bella could see her working his belt. In another moment, she freed his cock and sunk to her knees. Bella gasped as the man fisted his hands in the girl's blonde hair, moving her face closer to his dick. She pumped him twice, then opened her mouth and swallowed him down.

Bella couldn't look away; her skin hot, tingling. The woman's head bobbed, rhythmic and mesmerizing. Immersed in their pleasure, the couple ignored the circling audience. They were within the glass walls, but instead of offering privacy, the enclosures became a fish bowl, the couple and their intimate act on stage for all to enjoy.

Someone lightly bumped her shoulder, jarring Bella from the erotic scene. A man, slightly taller than her, slender build, with a friendly face had sidled up beside her. "Good show, huh?"

She returned his smile cautiously. "Yeah."

"Come dance with me." He held out his hand, a confident gleam in his light eyes.

Bella took in his fair hair, and the trying-too-hard leather vest and felt not the least bit attracted. "I'm sorry, but I'm looking for someone."

She didn't know who yet, but it wasn't this man.

He'd pulled her attention from the couple, though, and so she moved toward the center of the room and the centerpiece of the club. The dance floor, slightly raised and lit from below, drew her like a beacon.

She could do this.

She could so do this.

Bella let the sultry, throbbing pulse of the music vibrate up through the sole of her Jimmy Choo boots, and thrum into her bloodstream like an adrenaline rush. She couldn't help but move, hips swaying, arms waving with the intoxicating tempo of the music. Never had she danced alone before. Never had she felt so free, unselfconscious.

Never had she felt so damned good.

Eyes tracked her progress. Her recently awakened sense of confidence comforted her. She'd always shied away from personal attention─but tonight she savored it, pulled it deep and let it ripen inside her─let the sense of power wash through her. A little smile tilted the corner of her lips as she surveyed her surroundings.

Crowning the back of the dance floor was a raised dais populated mostly by men. She threaded her way through the gyrating bodies, consciously avoiding the remarkable amount of flesh bared by both men and women. She should have known from the website images, but seeing the flesh in the flesh still stole her breath. Glistening, muscled chests and perky, bouncing breasts all proudly displayed as Bella found a spot amidst the moving bodies.

A figure standing on the dais caught her attention as she scanned the room again. A gray t-shirt molded to his broad shoulders and defined chest while dark trousers hung low on his hips. The strobes flashed and this deep in the throng of dancers, Bella almost felt anonymous, lost in the crowd. She studied the man who'd snagged her attention. His sharp cheekbones, broad forehead and forceful chin bespoke power and the undeniable masculinity of the man. She couldn't see if he wore a ribbon around his wrist, but no need to wonder about his proclivities. Every inch of him screamed power, danger, dominance.

And she couldn't pull her gaze away.

The sheer force of him, even across the writhing sea of bodies, swamped her senses, drowned her in the forceful recognition of his utter alpha masculinity. He stood alone, even with the standing-room only crowd. No one invaded his personal space, male or female.

His gaze roamed the dancers, then caught and held on her. His eyes skimmed over her body, glinting with predatory intelligence. Her breath hitched deep in her chest, her dance faltering for an instant, staggered sheer aggression in the hard shape of his mouth. Then he blinked and she felt freed. Closing her eyes, she tilted her chin up and concentrated on the sensual invitation of the house music. She licked suddenly dry lips.

She tossed her hair, closed her eyes and basked in the heat of the lights flashing above her. The spinning spotlight illuminated her, then spun back to linger over her as she danced, and the last of her inhibitions melted away.

She was Eve, not tempting Adam, but all of mankind.

She was Cleopatra seducing not Caesar, but all of the known world.

She was Woman; earthy, raw, inviting.

And when she felt a masculine presence fill the space behind her, move in sync with her dance, she didn't turn. She didn't need to see him to know the man from the dais had answered her siren song.

He gripped her hips with unhesitating confidence. His touch was electric and a wave of attraction washed over her.

He moved smoothly, all take to her give, sway to her swerve, a perfect compliment to her undulating dance and she transitioned from sultry grind to sensual foreplay, as naturally as breathing.

His fingers pressed against the jut of her hip bones, firm enough to move her dress rather than slide against the silk. She arched, raised her arms high and reached back to thread her fingers into the hair at the back of his head. His touch raised the hairs on the back of her neck as he moved his palm along her belly, the side of her breast barely covered by the pale blue slip dress, then up further along the sensitive inner skin of her arm. His touch was exquisite, strong and purposeful. She contoured her body to his, his fingers raising little goose bumps.

They moved in one fluid undulation after another, forward and back, a sensual prelude hinting of what was to come. She'd found what she'd sought; there wasn't a hint of doubt in her mind and her blood thrummed hot with anticipation.

Her gaze drifted with hazy indifference over the faces of the other dancers. In another place, another time, she would have been mortified, felt to be made a spectacle. Instead, here, now, she felt proud, confident, thriving on their blatant interest and the desire evident on many of the faces watching her move with wanton sensuality against this tall stranger.

His head dipped behind her, his lips coasting along the sensitive curve between her shoulder and neck. The warmth of his breath, the carnal touch of his lips to her skin brought her attention back to focus on him alone. Heat blossomed in the wake of his smooth caresses. He trailed the hot kisses up and down her skin, building the heat, feeding the need clenching deep in her belly. She closed her eyes then, tilted her head back and to the side to rest against his strong chest, following his lead as he slowed their dance.

As Trent Reznor growled out his lyrical desire to desecrate, the stranger drew one of her hands down from the back of his head. He nuzzled against her shoulder and the left strap of her barely there slip dress slid down, exposing her breast. His lips continued their tormenting path from shoulder to neck but his fingers trailed teasingly along the outside of her breast. Her nipple, already puckered and seeking attention, tightened almost painfully. She wanted him to touch her there, to pinch and tease her nipple until she went blind with desire.

Never had she exposed herself in public.

Never had she allowed a stranger to touch her.

And never had she craved a man's touch to her breast more than she did at this moment.

She shivered and arched, silently enticing him to move his taunting fingertips closer, to caress her more fully. There were no words she could utter to properly voice the desperation of her desire. It was elemental and undeniably needful.

And then he was there. Not a soft tease of his fingertips, but the fierce hold of his palm against her flesh, wrapped up across her chest to her breast, holding her, controlling her.

Pleasure, sharp and intense, shot straight to her core. His hold was exactly what she craved. He was giving her pleasure, and his touch promised even more. But it would be on his terms, at his discretion. Bella shivered as the realization penetrated.

"Open your eyes." His deep voice rumbled through her.

She obeyed even as a tingle of trepidation skipped over her skin. Blinking against the lights pulsing in rhythm with the music, she realized he'd moved them into one of the many alcoves circling the dance floor. He slid a hand up into her hair and turned her to face him. Her first impression was of an indisputably handsome man─sharp cheekbones, lush and yet wholly masculine lips. His expression was chiseled without being remote, predatory without being chilling, but most blatant was the arousal glinting in his dark green eyes.

He kept one hand fisted in her hair, forcing her head to tilt up as he studied her under the flashing club lights. He swept the remaining strap of her dress over her shoulder, letting the top of her dress catch on the curve of her hips. It wouldn't fall without being tugged, so she stood before him half dressed, trembling under his intense scrutiny.

He drew his thumb along her jaw and the harsh thud-thump of her heart escalated. His eyes held hers, watchful and expectant, as his hand drifted down along the dip and jut of her collarbone to the vale between her breasts.

"You understand where you are?"

Again, the low timbre of his voice ricocheted down her spine. She swallowed, then pushed out an answer. "Yes."

His thumb notched under her jaw again as he studied her. "You've never been in a place like this before, though."

It wasn't a question, but she whispered a response anyway. "Never."

"Face the glass wall. Lean your hips into the padded ledge."

She shivered as the command in his voice had her turning to follow his directions. He moved behind her, his hands never leaving her─coasting over the bared skin of her shoulder, her arm, up again to the top of her back. He settled a heavy hand at the nape of her neck and the feeling of being taken in hand caused her pulse to flutter.

The little alcove gave a false sense of privacy. Almost an hour ago she'd been on the outside looking in. She knew she and the stranger were perfectly visible, but with the clever lighting, she couldn't discern faces looking in through the wall of glass. However, the fact that she knew they were there, watching, was enough to curl her toes and send a prickle of awareness coursing over her flesh.

The ledge was higher than her hip, the padded edge hitting just above her waist. Then he pressed his trousered leg to the back of her bare one, coaxing her up and abruptly she realized there was a second ledge, lower than the first and cushioned.

"On your knees," he whispered, hot and dark, into her ear.

Again, she followed his direction. Her lids drifted low and she focused inwardly, focused on the sensations wafting though her. Arousal, greater than any she'd ever felt, tightened her nipples and pooled between her legs. How could this stranger know her body so well? Know where to touch to steal her breath? Know how the wet slide of his mouth on her skin obliterated her senses?

He pressed against her back again and she could feel his strength surrounding her. His arms wrapped around from behind, strong, dominant, his unrelenting fingers curling up around her breasts. Every pinch and twist to her nipples ricocheted to her core, echoing in the growing dampness between her thighs.

Her body's wet response should have embarrassed her. But his cock was hard and demanding against her ass and she knew intuitively that his desire was as fierce as her own.

He coaxed her to her knees, pushed her forward until her hips hit that second ledge just right and her face was inches away from the glass. Then his hand flattened between her shoulder blades, forcing her forward even more. Her breasts hit against the frigid glass enclosure, her face turned to the side, eyes clenched closed. She realized that the ledges and glass structure were crafted for this specific purpose. Her back was forced into the perfect arch, her body delectably positioned for her lover. Her breasts swelled, nipples tightening to painful little points.

Just one. Her mantra from the past day flitted through her mind and for the first time, that one felt within reach. He gripped her thigh under the flirty edge of her dress, pulling her legs apart and moving his body into the well he created. His hand didn't caress, it commanded. He moved her hair off her neck, let it fall over one shoulder, then pressed his mouth, open, hot and wet against the skin he'd bared.

She moaned, tilted her hips back to him. He brought every one of her forbidden, secret desires to the forefront, leaving her yearning and lost to a riot of sensual upheaval. Desire burned away any lingering reticence. She was here. She'd let herself be seduced by this stranger under the watchful eyes of the other club members. She would let him do whatever he wanted.

His hold on her was uncompromising and captivating, thrilling down to her toes. He surrounded her in a sorcerer's thrall, a sensual fog unlike anything she'd ever experienced before. She pressed her fingers against the glass wall, her every nerve pulled taut under the rush of intense arousal, even as she celebrated finally, finally feeling it.

His hand grasped her breast, thumb and finger pinching and twisting her nipple. He worked her hard, every caress inciting her desire, heightening her arousal. Was she really doing this? Was she about to have sex with a stranger in a club designed for voyeurs? He bit down on the rounded curve of her shoulder, wrenching a gasp from her. "Oh God." Yes, she thought, yes, she was.

"I'm going to fuck you, pet. Hard and fast against this wall. Are you going to stop me?"

He encircled her from behind, cocooning her in his heat and power. She trembled, her mind an intoxicating blend of hope and apprehension. "No."

"I'm going to take what I want. You're not only going to like it, you're going to come hard and wet on my cock. Last chance to escape, pet."

A delicate shiver coursed down her spine, but she made no move to escape. Her words more breath than whisper, she said, "Just one."

He positioned her for his pleasure, coasting his hand down the length of her exposed back, drawing his hand up the back of her thigh, pushing the hem of her dress out of his way. His hands moved masterfully over her body, gripping her hips, her ass. His touch was ruthless, unrelenting as he torqued her arousal higher and higher, until every beat of her heart seemed to be at his whim. His lips moved heavily along the sensitive column of her back, between her shoulder blades, as he pinned her to the glass wall.

She could no longer simply move away. She was at his mercy, physically under his control and although the public location allowed an underlying sense of safety, his dominance of their position turned her blood to fire and had her breath coming in shallow little pants. She was closer to an orgasm than she could ever remember being without the feel of a cock sliding inside her.

He shoved a hand into her hair, turning her to see the condom he held out with his other. She nodded, swallowing down her trembling trepidation even as she pitched her hips back to him. The back of his hands brushed against her as he undid his belt and unfastened his trousers.

His sudden thrust slammed into her, hard and fast as he'd warned. She slapped her hands against the cold glass in front of her head and cried out as he pumped heavily against her, forcing a union of unparalleled intensity. One strong hand gripped her hip, kept her positioned as he pistoned in and out of her. The other returned to her hair, pulling it tight enough she felt a sting in her scalp.

The cold against her front contrasted sharply with the furnace of his body rocking into her from behind. Her thighs grew slick as he moved and her body welcomed him. A scream built deep in her chest, clawing up her throat as her orgasm built. His mastery over her body resonated within her; she could do little more than cant her hips back to him as he powered his cock deep.

Her belly tightened; white noise filled her mind. Then he wrenched her head back, his mouth hot and moist at her ear. The stubble on his cheek rasped against her sensitive skin and her heart thumped hard in her chest. He sucked her earlobe into his hot mouth, then bit down, demanding she hear his words. "Not yet, pet. You'll come when I let you."

She shuddered, bit down on her lower lip and mewled a protest. But his growl sunk deep into the core of her being and she resisted the lure of release to obey him. He pulled her until her back pressed against his front. The fact that he still wore his shirt while her dress was bunched around her waist somehow added to her feeling of being completely his creature. She need feel no shame at her public exposure; he wished her bared, so she was.

He gripped her chin, turned her face towards him and his lips crashed down over hers. They shared their first kiss as his cock pulsed hard and thick inside her. He took her mouth roughly, possessively, his tongue swirling over hers, reminding her that there was nothing he could not take from her.

With deep, slow thrusts he started moving inside her again. She moaned into his mouth, reaching up to lace her fingers into his burnished hair. Her fingers scraped along his scalp, drawing an encouraging growl from the depths of his chest. He released her chin only to flatten his huge palm over her, his forearm across her breast, binding her close.

He kissed her, long lazy sweeps of his tongue, even as he bucked into her. Then his free hand drifted down, a gruff noise coming from his lips as his fingers played over her sex. He pressed a heavy finger to her clit, circled slowly as he shoved his cock deep. "Look at me."

Bella's eyes shot wide, fixed on his. His finger teased and pressed as he pumped into her. Her lips parted as she stared into his dark eyes, her breath billowing in fierce pants. She surrendered completely to his will as his eyes roamed over her face.

Desire built─a living, breathing entity inside her until caution had no merit, inhibition no foothold. Tonight Bella could let herself go, reach out and take hold of the stranger immersing her so deeply into her own erotic fantasy. She was bared soul-deep to this powerful man, just as revealed to him as to the faces surrounding their enclosure.

His hands moved again, breaking the spell of his green gaze, shoving her shoulders into the glass again as he slammed into her. As forceful as his demands were, he controlled her descent to the glass, not allowing her to be injured. He wrapped one hand around the curve where her shoulder met her neck, and his thigh moved against her, spreading her wider. He pummeled her from behind. A keening cry fell from her lips; light sparked behind her closed lids. He thrust into her again and she felt his cock thicken and her body clench around him.

In some still-functioning part of her brain, she prayed he wouldn't pull back again, wouldn't wrench the building orgasm from her grasp. But he pounded deep, grinding against her on the upthrust, a finger still swirling wetly when he withdrew. Her climax crashed over her, and she couldn't hold in the wrenching scream that escaped as her body rocked and shook under him.

His grip on her shoulder tightened almost painfully, his chest heaving against her bare back as he succumbed to his own pleasure. His guttural groan resonated deep within her, drawing out her rippling orgasm. He curved over her as they both regained their breaths. Satisfaction curled through her. She'd had her screaming orgasm and not just figuratively.

Finally, he eased back, his touch gentling as he pulled free of her body. She heard rustling, then from the corner of her eye, she saw him toss a tissue into the bin tucked beneath the cushioned bench. She still leaned into the ledge, knees propped, hands braced on the cold, cold glass. A shiver traced along the column of her back and in the next instant his hand, warm and soothing, swept from her nape to the plump curve of her ass. He eased her up, turning her to face him. A new gentleness softened the carved perfection of his features. "While I've enjoyed our introduction thus far, let's make it complete. I'm Edward."

At his words, her eyes darted up to meet his. She accepted the hand he extended. "I'm Bella."

She waited for the clichéd response, the 'yes, you are' tripe, but he surprised her and said simply, "Thank you for tonight."

She wanted to say the same, but words escaped her. How could she thank him, after all, for her first true orgasm? She felt innervated, enthralled, disconnected and vibrantly alive.

He reached to the small round table at the center of the alcove, picked up a bottle of water she'd just noticed, and passed it to her. Abruptly, she realized her mouth was parched and she gratefully accepted cool relief of the beverage. He pulled her dress back to order and she flushed. She hadn't even processed the fact that she still stood mostly naked before him. But as he redressed her, she took in his platinum watch and what looked like custom tailored trousers, and realized this man was far, far out of her league. Before tonight, she'd never have the self-confidence to approach him, let alone flirt with him. He wore the mantle of wealth and power like a second skin and while she found his confidant demeanor enticing as all hell, he wasn't the sort she dated.

Maybe that explained why it had taken an illicit trip to a members-only sex club to achieve her first screaming-o.

Bella straightened, shook off her disquieting thoughts, and met his dark eyes once more. There would be no turning back; she would be this new person, this new Bella who took her pleasure where and how she wanted it. Confident, sexy, and most important, she would be true to herself. She stood to leave. He followed her movements and at the exit, she tossed him a full, radiant smile. "My pleasure."