Bought: Highest Bidder(2)

By: Lauren Landish

Now there’s only anger.

I steady myself, knowing they’ve tried this before and failed. They’ll keep trying, and it’s aggravating, but I refuse to give them anything. I’ve learned my lesson the hard way. I know better now.

My eyes widen as a new email pops up.

From Club X.

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen an email from Madam Lynn. And an even longer time since I’ve set foot into the club. The pad of my thumb rubs along the tips of both my middle finger and forefinger, itching to see what’s inside.

Images flash before my eyes, and I can practically hear the soft sounds of the whip smacking against flesh and a moan forced from the Submissive’s lips. Never to hurt, only for pleasure. Whips aren’t my tool of choice, nor what I've been known for in the past. But nonetheless, the memory kicks the corners of my lips up into a grin. I tap my fingers on the desk, debating on opening the message before moving the mouse over to the email and clicking on it out of curiosity.

Check your mail, sir.

I huff a laugh at the message and immediately hit the intercom button on my desktop phone for my secretary. It’s not yet five, so she better fucking be at her desk still.

“Yes, Mr. Stone?” she responds, and her voice comes through with a sweet and casual air.

“Could you bring me my mail, please?” Although it’s poised as a question, it isn't one. There’s only one correct response, and she knows that.

There’s no hesitation as Linda says, “Of course.” Her voice is slightly raspy. Linda’s old, to put it bluntly; she should retire.

If I was her I would, rather than putting up with my arrogant ass.

I’m happy she hasn’t though. Every year I pay her more money to stay. A hefty raise, a gift here and there. It keeps her happy. Finding a good secretary is more work than it’s worth. It was a pain in my ass when I started. Linda’s the first I’ve been able to keep for more than two months and now that she knows what she’s doing, with more than four years of working for me, I have no intention of finding a new secretary. So when I make a request, I say please.

I go through the emails remaining in my inbox, waiting impatiently for her soft knock on the door to my office. Usually I don’t bother with the paper mail. Just like most of these fucking emails, they're junk. She knows what to do with them. So I leave it to her to organize and sift through it daily. She hands over the personal mail at her discretion, usually waiting until the end of the week to bring it all by, but this particular one I want right now. I’m not interested in waiting.

The light knocking at the door echoes in the small room, and I look at the clock. It's only three minutes later. Not bad, Linda.

“Come in,” I call out and she does so quickly, closing the door behind her. She walks straight to my desk, not wasting any time. Her pink tweed skirt suit looks rather expensive. It's a Chanel, if I’m correct. I see she’s putting that last bonus to good use.

“This is from today,” she says, placing a compact stack in front of me, “and this-”

I stop her, waving my hand and pulling out the small, square, deep red envelope. “No need.”

She collects the remaining mail, tapping it lightly on the desk to line everything up together and asks, “Anything else, sir?”

The use of sir catches me off guard, and for a moment I wonder if she knows who the sender of this particular piece of mail is, but her face is passive. And it isn’t the first time she’s called me sir. Most of my employees do. Linda just happens to use it less often than most.

I shake my head and say, “That’s all.” The lines around her eyes are soft, and her lips hold the faintest form of a smile. Linda’s always smiling despite having to deal with me. She takes my hot temper in stride. That’s one of the reasons I’m eager for her to stay.

She nods her head before turning on her heels. I wait until she's gone to open the envelope.

I watch her leave and listen to the door click shut, leaving me in my spacious office alone and in solitude. Just the way I prefer it.

I finally open the envelope with the letter opener on my desk, avoiding the black wax seal embossed with a bold X entirely.

The thick cream parchment slips out easily from the elegant envelope, and the handwritten message is in Madam Lynn’s beautiful penmanship. If nothing else, I admire her flair.

I can practically hear her sultry voice whispering in my ear as I read the sophisticated script.

Dear Sir,

An auction is to be held and I personally wanted to invite you, Lucian. It’s been far too long, and I know you’re in need. Renew your membership first.