"You know what"" Liv said, pushing her chair back before she"d really thought about it. "Whatever you order for me will be fine. I just need to use the restroom."
She"d never run from a restaurant table so fast in her life. Now the question was whether she could run from the restaurant itself. Or, at least, how long she could hide in the bathroom. Or, possibly, whether she ever had to come out at all.
* * * *
Wolf Henrikson watched the sexy stranger flee her table like it was the Titanic and the bathroom was the last available lifeboat. And he couldn"t say that he blamed her. He hadn"t been trying to eavesdrop on the couple"s conversation; it was only that every time the man spoke to anyone from the restaurant"s staff, he shouted like he wanted to make the scene he was in fact making.
What the hell was the cute brunette doing with such an asshole anyway" The few times he"d looked around to see if his dinner companion had arrived, he"d noticed the woman sitting not too far away"and she"d made him do a double take every time. Between her glossy chocolate waves, the bright red paint on her bow-tie lips, and the vintage-style red dress with the plunging neckline and the full knee-length skirt, she had the sex appeal of a pinup girl. He couldn"t help wondering if she wore garters and thigh-highs beneath that skirt.
Wolf almost regretted that he no longer had any reason to stay at the bar because the scene playing out at the nearby table was like a train wreck he couldn"t stop watching. And, oh, he did enjoy watching. People were just so fucking interesting, even when they were off their damn rockers.
But the prospective submissive he"d been planning to meet"in public, at her request"had just called to let him know she"d gotten cold feet. He respected the honesty. The BDSM lifestyle wasn"t for everyone, and it wasn"t something he recommended anyone explore frivolously. But the change in plans left him at loose ends.
Actually, that feeling was a constant presence in his blood these days. Restlessness. Boredom. Dissatisfaction without really being able to pinpoint why.
In anticipation of the meeting, he"d only had water, but he dropped a few dollars on the bar anyway, then pushed off the stool and made for the restrooms at the back. Blasphemy would be hopping soon, and even though he wasn"t scheduled to work a shift, he could no doubt find a willing partner to play with there. Though he was one of the twelve Master Dominants and a one-twelfth owner of the city"s most exclusive BDSM club, Wolf"s particular kink didn"t require all the equipment and special rooms that some did. Really, voyeurism and exhibitionism could be enjoyed anywhere. Which was kinda the point.
As long as he could watch, or knew others were watching, or was with someone who got off on being watched, he was all kinds of good.
Or, at least, he used to be. Something had been missing for him in all of it lately, leaving him wondering whether his role in Blasphemy still made the most sense"for him and his partners. A number of the other Masters had found women to love and to collar, and even to marry. They were committed to the club because it was central to their lives and their relationships. For years, being a part of the scene there had been important to Wolf, giving him a safe place to play and meet likeminded women. But lately, he wasn"t getting the same thrill, the same satisfaction out of it. And it left him feeling like a bit of a fraud. Because the Masters of Blasphemy should be all in. The club and its patrons deserved no less.
On a distracted sigh, Wolf stepped into the narrow hallway that led to the restrooms and nearly bowled someone over. "Damn, I"m sorry," he said, grasping the woman"s arms to keep from knocking her down. Momentum made it so that he nearly flattened her against the wall, and he got a lungful of a flowery scent from her hair. He prepared for the smackdown his carelessness deserved, but instead what he got was laughter. Full-on, deep belly, throw-your-head-back laughter.
From the sexy pinup girl with the atrocious taste in dinner partners.
"Just"just"an accident," she gasped between bouts of laughter she tried but failed to restrain. "That full body contact with you"will probably end up being the highlight of my night. Trust me."
Wolf grinned as he took in her meaning. He wasn"t sure which he appreciated more"her humor, her easy-going nature, or the compliment. Or that dress. Because seeing it up close, damn. The V-neckline emphasized the swells of her breasts, and the full, flaring skirt emphasized a narrow waist over satisfyingly full hips.
"That bad"" he asked.