For Pleasure and Pain

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Elizabeth continues her transformation into Damon’s lifestyle, growing and embracing her desires while still hoping for something more than an arrangement.

Damon comes face-to-face with emotions he has buried for years, believing the only way he can survive is to maintain control.

A series of incidents finds them both beginning to deal with their emotions as they look for a middle ground. After casting Elizabeth aside, Damon realizes he may lose her and goes after her to bring her home. Pleasure is there for both, but the pain is emotional, with Damon trying to let go of some of the beliefs he has lived by, and Elizabeth believing everything will be all right, that she is happy for now, and that she and Damon will live together happily ever after.

But is that really how it will turn out?

Publisher’s Note: This steamy contemporary romance contains elements of power exchange.

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Sample Chapter

Elizabeth’s long blonde hair shone off her pale skin in the dim light of the foyer of Falcon’s Cove. Behind her stood Damon, tall, muscular, dark hair, with indigo eyes that seared into the depths of her soul. Her mind flashed back as she knelt naked on a pillow. She remembered her happy childhood growing up in Vermont, her love of art, and her college days, learning to navigate the big city of New York, and beginning her own small gallery in Chelsea. Vignettes of another life, a life before Damon St. Claire.

A chance meeting at her friend Babs’ dinner had set off a chain of events that excited and sometimes frightened her. Damon was a wealthy and powerful businessman with few friends outside his professional life. She had been surprised when he was attracted to her despite their differences and her inexperience in his lifestyle.

Damon pulled Elizabeth to her feet. “Follow me, and I’ll give you a tour. Your luggage and clothes will be taken to your room. I want you naked with only your heels on,” he said as he walked toward a staircase that wound upward for three stories.

Four months had passed since Elizabeth had begun an arrangement with Damon. As she followed Damon, she hoped that this week at his private island, Falcon’s Cove, would be a turning point in their arrangement. Damon had been honest in his desire for only an arrangement, but she wondered if that could change, and, if not, could she be satisfied and not want more?

Elizabeth observed corridors and doors at each level leading to unknown rooms. As they climbed higher, the passageways were lit with sconces resembling torches found in medieval castles. At the top of the winding staircase, an oculus poured light from above and lit the landing in front of a door. Elizabeth watched as Damon inserted a key from the ring on his hip and stepped into a room that resembled a tower. Three sides of the circular structure were open to the elements. The day was clear, and one could see for miles across the island, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and, to the south, the Caribbean Sea. Elizabeth noticed there were few items in the space, only a telescope and a perch that held a hooded bird.

“I thought I’d introduce you to one of my favorite possessions,” said Damon, smiling. “Do you know anything about falcons, Elizabeth?”

Elizabeth stared at the hooded bird and shook her head.

“They are the fastest bird in the world. In the late Middle Ages, the falcon was considered a noble bird and used for hunting. Rune is a Peregrine, which has been used in falconry for more than three thousand years. It’s the national animal of the United Arab Emirates and she was given to me by a valued partner in that country. The cliffs are her natural nesting place, and she will mate this year for life.”

Maybe it will rub off on you, thought Elizabeth.

“She provides me with many hours of pleasure,” Damon said as he pulled on a falconer’s glove, unhooded Rune and transferred her to his arm. “You may watch her hunt while we are here,” he added, “but I’ll hood her now and continue the tour.”

Damon led Elizabeth out of the tower, after locking the door, and down one flight of stairs. “My rooms are at this level, Elizabeth. There are no other occupants on this floor. There is an elevator behind one of the doors from this level down to the floor where your rooms are located, and with the proper codes, further down into the security and operations level of the complex. A code that only I possess descends down one more level to my dungeon.”

Elizabeth’s eyes widened at the mention of Damon’s dungeon, and she followed him down the staircase. She wondered if she would ever be allowed inside his private rooms. Elizabeth Ashton’s life was an open book in comparison to Damon St. Claire’s. The powerful and wealthy Dominant valued and protected his privacy and exerted absolute control over his life and arrangements. Protected by a loyal staff and signed Non-Disclosure Agreements, Damon spent his days in the public eye and nights in his ‘playroom’ at home or at The Club, a private dungeon in New York’s East 80s.

The next level down contained many more doors than the one above. Damon punched in a code at one of the doors, and Elizabeth entered the suite where she would be staying. She saw that her cases had been brought to the room but not unpacked.

Elizabeth stared around the living room, which had a large expanse of glass looking out onto the ocean. Two other rooms led off the living area. She could see a bedroom, and the other side looked as though it might contain a small kitchen.

Damon watched her as he said, “The residence is built into the sides of the cliffs. There are no balconies. Each suite contains a small kitchen with a door to the hallway. There is a large dining room on the main floor, but the suites are set up for the convenience of guests who may wish to dine privately without being observed. We are the only ones here and can choose to take our meals wherever we wish. There are phones in every room that enable you to reach security, the kitchen and me. I don’t keep a large staff here. There are mostly security people. The suites are cleaned once a day when guests are here.” He looked at her luggage. “You won’t have much need for the clothes you brought.”

So, it will be as in New York, thought Elizabeth, I will sleep on my own, but here, expected to parade around naked in the residence. “I am concerned, Sir, that I may become afraid when not with you. You’ll be sleeping so far away—”

“That’s why you have the phone to call me,” Damon interrupted. “I expect you to do so if you need me.”

What about if I just want you, Damon, thought Elizabeth with a frown.

“It’s time for lunch, which should be waiting for us in the dining room downstairs,” he said, motioning for Elizabeth to follow him.

Downstairs, the foyer was a circle, with the front double doors across from the winding staircase and two corridors leading off in opposite directions. Elizabeth followed Damon down one hallway. The walls were void of decoration, as they were on other levels, save the same medieval torchlights along the corridors. Double doors stood open to a large room that held a rustic table of old wooden planks and metal stretchers. The table that could easily seat twenty had been set for one with the finest crystal, china and silver. Food and wine were placed on a sideboard. An iron chandelier lit with candles was anchored to a side wall.

I’ve been transported back in time to a medieval castle, thought Elizabeth.

Damon sat down and brought Elizabeth’s hand to his lips, telling her that, tonight, she would have the pleasure of serving him. There were numerous plates on the sideboard piled with food and decanters of wine. Elizabeth took a deep breath as her heart began to race.

“Will I serve you every meal?”

“Perhaps while we are here,” replied Damon. “As I said, the servants will be absent in deference to your wishes not to be seen naked. You must, therefore, expect to assist in accommodating that wish.”

“But, if I were not naked—”

“But it is my wish, Elizabeth, that you are.”

Elizabeth stopped her impulse to challenge Damon and turned to serve. There were two kinds of wine and a sideboard filled with every kind of cold meat and fish one could imagine, potato salad and pickled vegetables, and various pies and puddings or mousse for dessert. Elizabeth filled a plate with a slice of prime rib, some horseradish and mustard, a spoonful of potato salad, and pickled vegetables. She selected the red wine in the decanter and placed the plate and wine in front of Damon, who motioned for her to kneel beside him as he began to eat. Elizabeth tried to stem her hunger pangs, wondering when or if she would be allowed to eat.

He cleared his throat. “That was exceptional, Elizabeth. You may remove the plate, refill my glass, and bring me what you think would give me pleasure for dessert.”

Elizabeth did as he said, deciding on a small bowl of chocolate mousse. She was about to kneel again, when Damon stopped her.

“You must be wondering when you will eat, Elizabeth. I told you to ask questions. Why have you not asked me?”

Elizabeth lowered her eyes and replied, “I wanted to, but—”

“Listen, my pet, when I tell you to ask questions in a situation that I know is unfamiliar to you, I expect you to ask. You will not disappoint me. I will have my dessert now, which will include you, and then I will leave. You will then prepare a plate for yourself and leave it on the sideboard, return to your rooms, and prepare to receive me in one hour. Your plate will be delivered to your kitchen.” Damon took a drink of wine and pushed back his chair. “Now, Elizabeth, straddle my legs. I want to eat your wet pussy with the chocolate mousse.”

Elizabeth felt heat burn through her as Damon grabbed her by the waist and lay her back on the table. He opened her legs wide, pushing her heels on the table back as far as they would go.

“So wet, so slick, and all mine. Mine. It’s been too many nights, Elizabeth, since I’ve had you.” Elizabeth grabbed the sides of the table and dug her nails into the wood. She began to pant and arched toward Damon as he applied the mousse to her tits and pussy.

“You want it, too, don’t you, puss?”

“Yes, yes, oh my God, yes.”

A hand turned her and slapped her butt.

“Yes?”

“Yes, Sir. Please, Sir, I need you. I want you so much.”

“Pretty kitty, lie back and let me lick you. Hold the table. Keep your knees up and your legs spread. Do not come. I dreamed about sucking on your tits and licking your pussy while I was gone.” Then, under his breath, “I want you, too, Elizabeth, more than I should.” She knew that Damon’s attraction to her created conflicting emotions in his well-ordered life. He knew Elizabeth was attracted to him in her vanilla, romantic way, but he thought he could only be satisfied in an arrangement.

He sucked and pinched Elizabeth’s breasts. “Can’t wait to put clamps and a chain on your tits. I want to yank you toward me.” He licked down Elizabeth’s abdomen, inhaling her scent, and stopped just above her mons. He spread her lower lips that were covered with mousse and began to lick and eat. “You taste so fucking good, the end to a perfect meal.” Damon wiped his face on a napkin and threw it aside. “I’ll see you in an hour. Be ready.”

Elizabeth lay staring at the ceiling, panting, completely frustrated and unsatisfied. I want to come. I need to come. And I have a punishment coming. Maybe this is it? She pulled herself up, slid off the table and wiped herself with a napkin. After filling a plate, she left to find her way upstairs. As she entered her suite, the clock on the fireplace mantle chimed the quarter hour. Forty-five minutes, and she would find out what happened next.

Elizabeth took her cases to the bedroom’s walk in closet. No use in wasting time here, she thought as she grabbed her cosmetic bag and entered the bathroom. The room contained no outside windows and was lit with electrified sconces, again of medieval design. The walls were the rough walls of the cliffs, and the floor, the dark slate of the foyer and corridors. The oval tub and two sinks looked as though they had been carved from large rocks. An iron candelabra stood next to the tub, candles waiting to be lit. Although the floors were heated, animal skins lay on the floor in front of the tub, the open shower and the sinks. The overall effect was primal and masculine. Elizabeth shivered. These rooms did not welcome her as her suite did in Damon’s penthouse but, instead, left her feeling unsettled. As she hugged her body for courage, she opted for a quick shower. She was just beginning to trust Damon and allow herself to be vulnerable. She felt that Damon had been patient with her, at the same time increasing his control and demands of her as his submissive.

Later, when she stood eating at the kitchen counter, she thought, I’ll leave a note for the cleaning staff. It would be nice to have a few things in the fridge in case my meals are all to be eaten here alone. Damon said to ask questions. I must remember to do that. She scribbled a note and left it on the counter asking for some fruit, yogurt, mineral water, and cheese to be left in the fridge, then hurried out and closed the door. The clock chimed, alerting her that she had fifteen minutes before Damon arrived. She pulled a throw pillow off the sofa, placed it on the floor and knelt, head and eyes down, palms upturned on her thighs. Within minutes, Elizabeth heard the door open and Damon’s footsteps approaching.

He stepped in front of her, admiring her beauty, and bent, running his fingers through her hair, and pulled her up to face him. “You have anticipated my wishes and followed my directions. It is time for your punishment and for you to enter my dungeon. Keep your eyes down and follow me.”

Elizabeth did as she was told, following Damon down the corridor and into an elevator. She heard him punch in a code and the elevator descended. The door opened onto a short, dimly lit corridor ending at another door. Elizabeth could hear Damon punch in a code and the door opened. Unlike his playroom at his home, the dungeon contained several rooms. The main room, where they stood, had sofas, chairs, tables and a bar. No unusual ‘furniture’ or ‘toys’, just a living space where several could gather for conversation and refreshments. She counted seven doors leading off the hall, each labeled with a Roman numeral and a symbol. A velvet rope indicated if the room was occupied.

Elizabeth had stolen a glance above the doorway when they entered and saw the inscription, ‘inveniet quod qusque velit’—’Each Shall Find What He Desires’. Damon made his way to door number “I”. The symbol beneath the Roman numeral was an “x” shaped flogger and cane with a hand over the middle. Damon pushed aside the rope and opened the door with a key from his ring.

Inside, was all manner of items used by a Dominant, Master, or Top to provide pain and pleasure to their submissives, bottoms, or slaves. Floggers, canes and whips hung on the walls. A St. Andrew’s cross, a flogging bench, a chair and footstool were the only furniture. The room was large enough, should the participants wish to be viewed by others, yet small enough to be intimate. Damon led Elizabeth to the flogging bench.

“Bend over the bench, Elizabeth. Repeat your safe words.”

“Red for stop and yellow for slow down, Sir.”

“Very good. Now, Elizabeth, tell me why you are being punished and beg me to punish you.”

Elizabeth swallowed, and her body tensed. “I am being punished, Sir, because I did not inform you of my whereabouts and safety as I promised, when you were in China.”

“And, Elizabeth?”

“I deserve, no, I want you to punish me, Sir, to teach me to be a better submissive. I need you to do this and to provide me with guidance to become a better sub.”

Damon smiled. “I’m going to strike you with a flogger, Elizabeth. How many times should I strike you, for what you deserve and so you will remember not to disobey me again?”

Elizabeth bit her lower lip and replied, “Ten for what I did, Sir, and five more so I will not forget.”

“A good answer, Elizabeth. I want you to nod when you’re ready and count out the strikes until I have finished.” Her body was tense, and although she had been flogged before, this was a greater number and a punishment, not for her pleasure. Damon ran his hand along her shoulders and back, down and up her legs, and massaged her ass. Part of the pain and pleasure paradox was how the mind played with fear, not knowing how intense the pain would be and how long the duration. In this instance, he did nothing to alleviate her fear, wanting her to feel the significance of the infraction with each blow of the flogger. He picked up the flogger he had placed by the bench earlier and ran it over Elizabeth’s body.

“Nod when you are ready to begin.”

She nodded and he brought the flogger down across the bottom of her ass.

“One,” gasped Elizabeth.

Again, Damon brought the flogger down with more strength.

“Two,” panted Elizabeth.

Damon struck Elizabeth three more times.

“Three, four, five,” cried Elizabeth, nodding and thinking, this is definitely a punishment and there are ten more to go.

Damon observed Elizabeth’s body and her ass as it reddened from the flogging. “Such a pretty sight, Elizabeth, you draped over my bench and your ass reddened in response to your punishment. Let’s check to see how wet you are. Hmm, such a wet pussy; one would think you were enjoying this. If you come, I will add five more strikes.”

Oh, my God, thought Elizabeth, I am wet and the blows are painful. I don’t understand. I don’t understand.

He brought the flogger down across her ass.

“Six, seven, eight, nine, ten. Yellow! Yellow, Sir,” Elizabeth cried as her chest collapsed on the bench and tears stung in her eyes.

“So, do I gather, Elizabeth, that you will not be forgetting your punishment?”

“No, Sir, I will not forget.” Elizabeth nodded.

Damon struck her again.

“Eleven, twelve, thirteen!” cried Elizabeth, thinking the blows seemed to be less intense. She nodded and Damon struck again. “Fourteen, fifteen.” Elizabeth collapsed against the bench with her eyes shut tight.

Elizabeth was too exhausted to examine the feelings that were fighting to surface in her mind and fell into a fitful sleep after Damon left her in her room later. She dreamed she was running in a forest with someone chasing her. A faceless man appeared on a horse to help her; when she turned, she was being chased by a large animal with Damon’s face.

 

* * *

Damon noticed her tenseness. She won’t forget the punishment, he thought, but will she obey? Damon dropped the flogger and ran his hands along Elizabeth’s legs, which were spread, and then her arms, folding her into him as he picked her up, leaving the room and the dungeon.

He entered Elizabeth’s suite, depositing her on the bed, and went to run a bath. He carried her into the bathroom and gently sat her down in a warm bath.

“You will feel discomfort in a few hours, if not immediately. I’ve left no permanent marks on you. The soreness and redness will go away in a few days. When you have finished your bath, I’ll rub an ointment containing herbs that should lessen the inflammation and any discomfort. You’ll have several hours to rest before dinner. Should you need me before I come to wake you, use your phone to call or text me.”

After he left her, Damon took the elevator to the level where the island’s security offices were located. He entered and saw that his head of security, Charles Knight, was showing Cal, Elizabeth’s bodyguard, the various installations in the control center. Screens showed cameras in rooms within the building, with the exception of the dungeon and Damon and Elizabeth’s rooms. Damon had instructed Charles to turn off the cameras in Elizabeth’s suite while she was in residence. Other screens allowed security personnel views of the island’s perimeter as well as areas on the island’s surface. Damon noticed a patrol pass on one screen and the helipad’s tower on another. “What do you think of our operation, Cal?”

“Very impressive, sir. I think you’d put a few countries’ security forces to shame.” And that’s an understatement, he didn’t say aloud as he remembered his time as a Mossad as an assassin for Israel. There are the latest weapons and technology. You’d think it was Fort Knox. “I was just saying to Charles that I’d like a tour of the island, if that would be okay, sir.”

“Absolutely, Cal. One of the reasons Charles and I wanted you on this trip is to get your feedback on the operation, given your background.”

“Shall I give my report to Charles, sir?”

“Go over it with Charles first, but then I’d like to hear what you have to say.”

“Very good, sir. Is there anything you wish me to do regarding Miss Ashton while we’re here?”

Interesting, thought Damon, but I’ll take it at face value. “No, Cal, Miss Ashton will be with me, but your attention to your job is commendable. Charles, may I see you for a moment?” Damon and Charles left Cal with the screen monitors and went to a small office. “What is your take so far on Cal, Charles?”

“He handled himself well on Miss Ashton’s trip, including the incident in Havana. He definitely has expertise in the most current equipment, technologies and protection strategies. He’s a loner; so, the team fit is still TBD, but if that works out, he’s definitely a keeper.”

“Everything sounds good except the loner part,” said Damon. “Put him in situations here and when we return, when he’s not protecting Miss Ashton, so we can make an early determination.”

Damon left and punched in the elevator code to his rooms. There was still time before he’d wake Elizabeth to check on his business interests.

“Amanda, how goes it at HQ?”

“Good to hear from you, sir. I hope all is well at Falcon’s Cove. We look forward to having you back on Tuesday. Your routine should be in place according to your wishes when you return. Your new Asian partner, Mr. Chen, has already requested time, and I have booked him in your calendar on Wednesday. He wasn’t specific.”

Damon chuckled. “He just wants to keep me advised as he becomes comfortable as Woo’s replacement in the organization. I’ve decided to take a closer look at Fernando’s capabilities and contacts in South America, regardless of whether or not he was at fault in Woo’s disloyalty. I’m considering visiting him to make an evaluation and suggest options to bring the South American business up to scratch. I’ll go over the plans with you I’ve discussed with Charles to provide increased surveillance of my region heads when I return.”

As she changed the subject, Amanda remarked, “Mrs. O’Grady is looking forward to your return and has been spoiling the rest of us in your absence. Mike will be back Wednesday to resume your and Miss Ashton’s training routines. Shane has settled into his apartment and seems anxious to begin driving Miss Ashton, and Anthony will return Sunday night and meet the plane on Monday evening when you return. By the way, how has Miss Ashton’s wardrobe worked out? Barney’s has been asking for feedback.”

“I’ll let Miss Ashton answer you relative to her business trip before coming to Falcon’s Cove. I can assure you, she has everything she needs here.”

“Thank you, sir.”

Damon looked at his watch and saw it was time to wake Elizabeth. “I look forward to seeing you on Tuesday. Enjoy your weekend.”

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1 review for For Pleasure and Pain

  1. Marybeth

    This is book two of the Choices Trilogy. We continue with Elizabeth’s and Damon’s relationship. Elizabeth gets more comfortable with her choice to become Damon’s submissive. Damon is enjoying having Elizabeth in his life, compromising on some of the things he thought he required. But, then something monumental happens and everything is left up in the air. There is a HFN ending. You do need to read book one to understand what is going on and you will definitely want to read book 3! I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.

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