And you know you’ve been waiting all morning. I bet you even checked what time zone Detroit was in and was wondering why I hadn’t posted this morning.
I wake up at five and literally am going at sixty to one hundred miles an hour as soon as I put my feet on the floor.
I know… no, excuses!
I promised you a sneak peak to Book four and I’m going to give you just that.
I’d like to thank #SneakReader, SDunn for her help in a pinch early in the morning for helping me and responding fast to an email for some story research.
I’d love to hear your feedback. There might be some major errors in this puppy because Momma was very overwhelmed this week.
Okay, no more talkie talkie, time to post an excerpt…
So overwhelmed by the thoughts charging rapidly through her brain, Maxine was in a mental fog as she drove home. Her body was literally on overdrive as she got on the freeway and turned corners.
When she pulled up in front of her apartment she was vaguely aware of the familiar brown Buick Century and walked past the semi handsome man who stepped out of the car.
Max?” his deep familiar voice said on shock.
She had just slightly past the man who had called for her and turned to meet dark brown eyes she remembered getting lost in so many times from the first day she had worked for him. Yet the effect on her now only reminded her of her deep feelings growing reluctantly for Philippe.
Plus, it had always irked her that Gerald had called her Max when he knew her real name from the first moment she met him. That was another reason why she had allowed her current employer to let the mix up in her name happen since it seemed no one really cared what her real name was. Most of her life people had called her Max instead of Jax, but she just got used to it and let the slip up go.
“GERALD?” she asked just in shock surprised he made an unannounced visit. The brown in his eyes had dulled and there were a lot more stressed lines kn bis face with additional gray to his hair. He had lost weight and his former strapping frame now wasn’t to masculine anymore. The couple of years she had stayed away from him had been very unkind to him. Her ex-lover looked exhausted and haggard.
It was almost instinctive to hug him, but she held herself back. This was the first time she resisted his charms and her old urges for him.
Was it Philippe’s influence over her body? She wondered briefly.
Gerald leaned in to her to try to kiss her lips, but Maxine smoothly turned her cheek to him.
“You look great,” he said still in awe as if he couldn’t believe whom he was speaking to. “It’s like the clock has turned back for you. Although I still see you dress dowdy.”
She smiled stiffly pushing away the irritation slowly growing. In the past, things that he did didn’t seem to bother her, but now it felt like everything he did peeved the hell out of her. “You look well, Gerald,” she said because she couldn’t return his compliment, plus she was slightly now on alert wondering why he was making an uninvited appearance in front of her house.
Gerald ran a hand over his short cut hair. “I’ve got a lot grayer,” he admitted with a sheepish charming smile. “But I blame you, Max.”
“Really? Why?” she asked curiously.
“I’ve missed you.”
“How could you possibly miss me, Gerald, and how could your gray be my entire fault? That happened while I was gone. You have a wife and kid, plus a successful company because of the amazing work I did for you that you took credit for.”
“Well, now I have none of that if you must know,” he admitted.
“Shortly, after your departure the clients who loved your work wanted more business, but I was unable to give them what they wanted so they found another firm to satisfy them and dropped me like a bad habit.” His face tightened severely making him look even older. “At the same time my wife found out about the affair and decided to separate from me taking fifty percent of my assets off to New York, along with my only child which she has made very difficult to see ever again until our divorce is final.”
Maxine almost felt bad for him. Despite what Gerald had done to her, she didn’t feel he deserved the cruelty that had come upon him. “If it means anything I’m sorry for your trouble.” Feeling an uncomfortable need to get away from him, Maxine decided to make an excuse to go, “I have so much to do, Gerald, but it was nice to see you-”
He cut her off coldly. “You have so much to do?” he asked incredulously as if mocking her. “You’re all alone, Max. You and I both know that. You have no one and all you do is work and go home. You never change. You never will.” His words were so harsh and his lips moved into a snarl, while he held her in front of him by gripping her arm so she just couldn’t walk away. “Dammit, if you didn’t want to talk to me, all you have to do is say so.”
Still forcing herself to be nice to him, feeling empathy over his situation, she said, “I just think considering that you’re still married, we should maintain our distance.” Maxine looked sharply at the gold band he still wore on his finger.
The more she was in Gerald Moss’s presence the more she was sure about her feelings for her ex-lover. No longer was she mentally lonely, drifting aimlessly in thoughts when she had broken up with him. Philippe filled her every waking thoughts more and more, even when Maxine was trying not to think about him.
Gerald straightened her clothes unconsciously just like he used to do. “You can’t deny you we were good together, Max.”
“If we’re so good together, why don’t you call me by my real name?”
“That old gripe, Max?” He shrugged indifferently. “That’s a stupid name. Max sounds so much better. Besides I like knowing I’m probably the only person on this earth who really knows your real name.” He went back to the subject he wanted to speak about. “Just accept you need me and I won’t deny I need you,” he said this as if it were a hard undeniable fact.
He needed her alright! He needed her to work for him and just let him use her body however he saw fit.
Maxine tightened up remembering the long hours she had worked at his office only to find out he took credit for her designs and creativity; how he lied about being married and once she found out he swore he was going to leave his wife, but never did.
Most of all, she clearly remembered his annoying penchant for cleanliness and how he expected her to not only give her all at the office, but cater to his every need in the home life when he was there and all his anal tendencies.
Gerald always wanted her to dress perfectly, have her home military clean for him, cook perfect dinners and, most of all, be willing to just lie there and let him do whatever he damn well pleased to her body with no thought of pleasure for herself for days or weeks at a time.
The stress of being his employee and lover had taken its toll on her mind, body, spirit and heart.
Yet, at that time in her life when she was with Gerald, Maxine never realized the deferment to her soul the relationship had caused, not until everything was over.
Still consumed in her thoughts remembering the anxiety and stress, she allowed Gerald to pull her body to his and kiss her. His lips were still very warm and soft just like his thickness indicted, but that was really as much as her body observed.
There was no blood rushing to her head or any dizzying effects of need like Philippe invoke. She didn’t even feel disgust or dissatisfaction. She felt absolutely nothing.
A great feeling of relief filled her and she even giggled as she was certain her whole being was completely over Gerald Moss.
Gerald moved her out of the kiss looking very disgusted. Albeit he was still sexy, if this was the past and he wasn’t married, she had a feeling she would have still been crazy devoted to him despite how deeply miserable she had always felt. She would have been delusional honored he even paid attention to her.
Yet, after being with Philippe and even being his lowly slave, Maxine felt drastically different about being with a man. True Philippe tried to demean her, but he also made her feel so damnable gloriously queen-like and had taught her body to demand so much more.
“It’s not you, Gerald. I’ve changed… a lot. I honestly don’t need you.”
He narrowed those brown eyes suspiciously. “You sure have changed, Max, but you and I were special. No one can ever take that away or replace me.” Her touched her chin, his voice filled with so much arrogance.
She realized he was deliberately using all his intimate tricks to seduce her.
Moving his hand away from her chin, Maxine knew Gerald would never believe her about Philippe and her own self realization for her newfound confidence. Tenderly, she said, “Get over us Gerald. I’ve gotten over you for a while.”
“Your silly coworker couldn’t have made you talk like that, Max.”
Suspiciously she asked “You mean Lisa? How do you know about what Lisa would think? How do you know about her at all?”
“Because I love you,” he said obviously. “I have to know who’s influencing you. She was using you, manipulating you and making you think you didn’t need me. Don’t let her get between us anymore.”
“Lisa doesn’t influence my decision and has never controlled my thoughts about you. She never has. I hardly talked about that part of my life with her. I’m just not attracted to you anymore,” she admitted wholeheartedly.
“Who is he?” Gerald demanded to know. He started to grip her arm again. “Who’s come into your life trying to get between us?!” He was so possessive all of a sudden and there was this desperate craze look in those brown eyes.
Knowing he would never stop asking questions, Maxine admitted, “It’s no one you know, Gerald.”
“Do love him?” he snarled.
Her lips didn’t hesitate to respond, “Yes!” as she snatched her arm from his grip.
Gerald stepped away as if she had slapped him, but also looking even angrier. “You’ll be sorry, “he seethed.
Getting tired from feeling sorry for him, she raged, “Gerald, you’re the one who lied to me. You’re the one who stole my work and broke my heart. Whether I was with someone or not, whatever gave you the idea I’d want to be with you anymore?! Now please leave me alone.” She stepped up on her staircase to get far away from him.
He closed his fist tight and started to step toward her, but people came walking down the sidewalk. When they passed by, he said through gritted teeth, “You’ll be sorry. You’ll be real sorry. It’s not over between us until I say it’s over.” He got onto his vehicle and drove away.
A nervous shudder went down her neck, but she would refuse to believe Gerald could possibly lust after her so much to want to do harm to her.
Shaking her head slightly, wondering where Gerald’s insane threats had come from, she disregarded him all together as she walked into her apartment returning to her thoughts for this weekend.
Arriving at her apartment door, Maxine saw the familiar black box sitting in front of the entry. Whatever had happened to her before with Gerald was immediately pushed out of her mind as she fully focused on the box that was the invitation to a weekend she was nervous.
As per the instructions, the dress and shoes were underneath it. Taking the box and the other contents inside of her apartment, she set everything on the bed and took a long hot shower.
Thoughts of calling Sheriff briefly entered her mind, but in reality what could a lowly cop do in the world of great money and power? Sheriff Heart meant well and wanted to do his job, but she had a feeling the powers that be would hinder and frustrate the man to no ends. Yet, Maxine could go and find out if there was more to the society than everyone believe, including Philippe. She could speak to other women and even challenge Nicole or get the woman to help Maxine out.
Fixing herself a hot cup of Earl Gray tea, she sipped it slowly and stared at the box saying a million and one curses in her mind.
To go there and act as if there was nothing bothering her would be a lie. To accept Philippe as her master would be a lie, too.
Yet, why did she feel deep down inside that she wanted to see him? Why did she yearn to feel him do more than look at her?
“You’re crazy,” she told herself out loud. “This man’s crazy!”
‘Then you’ll make a perfect couple, especially since you’ve promised him anything. What the hell were you thinking? Do you know you could indebt yourself to this man forever?! You don’t know him. You don’t know anything about him!’
“Then I’ll just find out,” she told herself facing her computer. “I’ll find out everything I can about Philippe Darkore.”
With this mindset, she hurriedly washed and dressed before spending some time on the Internet to find out everything she could about Philippe. There wasn’t much about his personal life and she couldn’t find anything about his family either. Maxine knew the company’s website by heart, but even this was elusive when it came to the family behind the business. This frustrated her until she decided to Google him and found an article from a long while ago in the society paper.
Millionaire’s Son Rescues Girl
In his effort to try to “carry on” like a regular citizen, Philippe Darkore received a medal of honor from the Detroit Police Department for his efforts in rescuing a child from possible suffocation. The child, whose identity is not being released, was …. STORY CONTINUES | CLICK HERE.
Maxine tried to click but that only opened to a website where the information was no longer listed online. Cursing, she wrote down the date of the article and the author of the story, whose name was Sharlie Costello, Guest Society Editor at Detroit News.
When she did a search to see if this person still worked for the paper, there was no current listing for the Detroit Newspapers, but she found a current column for the woman who lived in Chicago now working as a freelance for the Chicago Times.
Maxine sent an email to this woman asking if she would have access the full story. Of course she didn’t expect an immediate response, but for some reason knowing this seemed very important and expressed urgency about the matter.
Checking the clock, Maxine saw she still had time to get to where she was supposed to go and decided to contact the police and leave a message for Sheriff Heart to see if he could find out any information on citizens, who had received a medal of honor.
Time grew close and she wasted no time in getting to where she was supposed to go. The same ritual as before was followed to get to the private club and she didn’t speak as usual, following instructions to the letter. Once they were inside, their key numbers were read off and she was ordered along with five other key numbers to follow the voice by putting her hand on the shoulder of the woman to her right. When they were inside of a room, Nicole’s voice ordered them to take off their blindfold.
Beside Maxine stood Anna, Rhea and Carla. They looked just as perplexed as she did, but they did not say a word.
“When I call off your key, please come and get your envelopes. You are to pick what you can afford from your envelopes and then you will be taken to where you are supposed to go for the night,” Nicole said, glancing at Maxine with concern.
Maxine watched as Anna and Carla was called first and envelopes were given to them filled with money. Anna counted hers very loud wanting everyone to hear and even had the nerve to happily giggle her amount out.
Carla just looked composed, but it looked as if she had gotten the same amount by the thickness of the envelope.
Rhea’s key number was called next and a very thin envelope handed to her. Just like Carla she remained composed, but gave Maxine a pitiful, ‘I don’t want to be here look.’
Maxine was called last and she took the envelope that Nicole handed to her. That concern look was in the older woman’s eyes, but Maxine looked away first not wanting to engage in any conversation with so many in the room.
Clapping her hands, Nicole called the women to order sharply as Lanna entered the room with two racks of clothing. Depending on what amount of money they held, the women would have to afford their clothing, hair and makeup to be done.
Rhea looked longingly at a simple black dress and then at her thin envelope.
“I’ll give you a moment to look through everything,” Nicole said and left, leaving Lanna to stand near to assist anyone if need be.
“I don’t know why she left this stupid girl in here,” Anna sneered.
“She’s not deaf,” Carla snapped. “She can hear you. She can hear everything.”
“You shut up, because you’re just jealous because your master bought me.”
“You belong to Devon now?” Maxine asked disgusted.
“Don’t be jealous,” Anna said proudly. “He purchased me this afternoon and none too soon because my last master was cheap and disgusting. Isn’t he, Rhea?”
Rhea pretended to look through the clothes avoiding all eye contact looking her way.
Maxine thought to get her inquiry over before Nicole returned. Casually looking through the clothes, but not really paying any attention to what she was perusing, she asked, “Has any slave ever been killed? Or died because of the treatment here?”
No one answered her, but Carla avoided eye contact severely when Maxine looked her way.
“You know something?” Maxine asked.
“I heard something,” Carla admitted.
“Shut up,” Anna snapped. “Gossip isn’t allowed.”
Carla looked angry at Anna. “You’ve been here long enough to know it’s not gossip.”
Anna went over to Carla and backhanded her across the cheek. “Shut your filthy mouth, dike.”
Carla gripped her face as Maxine went over to get between them.
“You aren’t allowed to hit her,” Maxine pointed out sharply. “Keep your hands to yourself.”
“Or what?” Anna challenged contemptuously, bawling her first up as if she was about to also strike Maxine.
Bravely, Maxine stood her ground looking dead into Anna’s soulless brown eyes.
Anna must’ve realized Maxine was going to give her a real fight and backed down. “That stupid bitch shouldn’t be talking when Nicole’s not here.”
“Practice what you preach,” Maxine shot back just as nastily. “You’ve been running your mouth since Nicole left.”
Anna moved away from them and barked something at Lanna.
Carla looked guilty and pulled Maxine closer to whisper. “You mustn’t tell, but there have been disappearances or unexplained deaths. There’s chambers here some don’t know of. Chambers we never speak of.”
A tight feeling in Maxine’s stomach jumped in. “Like the pain room?”
A look of fear filled Carla’s warm brown eyes. “There are worse rooms than that and they didn’t come until Devon.” She pressed something in Maxine’s hands. “Keep it for me, okay? I trust you.” She moved away to pretend to become engrossed in looking for a dress and Maxine looked down at her hand to see it was simple key, but not for something inside of the chamber.
After putting the key in her robe, Maxine went over to Rhea and whispered, “How much do you have?”
“Barely enough to get anything,” Rhea said disappointedly. “It hurts, but Anna’s right. My master is cheap, but he’ll hurt me if I don’t look nice.”
She hadn’t even cared what was in her envelope, but Maxine still offered, “I could give you something.”
Terrified, Rhea said, “He’ll know and he’ll think I got it from another man.”
Thinking fast, Maxine went over to Lanna and whispered, “Do you know if my master has plans for entertaining tonight?”
Lanna smiled secretly and shrugged.
Pressing a twenty in Lanna’s hand, she asked, “Can I see my handler?”
Lanna took out a pager and punched something in. A few minutes later, Derrick appeared at the door.
Maxine quietly asked him, “Does my master plan on entertaining with others tonight?”
“It depends on what you mean by others. He has plans for tonight. Why?”
“Just answer the question or should I call him myself.”
“You want to speak to him? He’s right outside the door speaking to Nicole.”
Her stomach flipped in nervousness and the others in the room looked at her because Derrick was not keeping his voice down enough to keep their conversation private. “N-No,” she said holding her arms around her waist because now her stomach was doing triple flips. “Can’t you just ask? W-Wouldn’t I be disobedient?”
Derrick winked amused. “I’ll see.”
She was about to yell for him to stop, but knew it would look ridiculous as he walked out the room.
“Why’d you do that?” Rhea asked incredulously. “Are you begging for a beating?”
“No,” Maxine said worriedly, knowing that Philippe had every right to come in there and beat her for her questions and demands in front of everyone. She was a slave and had no right to ask questions of his plans for the evening, but to spend money if she was not going to go out would be a waste.
Even Lanna looked worriedly at her.
“Keep displeasing him and he’ll trade you for me,” Anna said cockily.
Before Maxine could respond to that, Derrick came back in the room.
“He says you will be alone with him and a guest tonight, but you need to hurry.”
This was odd, but Maxine only nodded and relaxed a little.
“Put your hand out,” Derrick ordered.
She did and shrieked as Derrick slapped the back of her hand as if she were a disobedient child. “What was that for?” she demanded, hugging her wrist to her chest protectively.
“He said to give you that for asking.”
Maxine wanted to laugh and cry because she knew Philippe could have done worse, but was only doing something for her misbehavior in public. Going to Lanna, she pressed some money in her hand. “This is for me and Rhea, but don’t let her know. I just want something light.”
Lanna nodded and smiled at the extra tip.
Nicole returned and hurried each woman in her selection. Afterwards, Derrick ordered Rhea, Carla and Anna to put on their blindfolds so he could take them to where they could use the community rooms to change, leaving Maxine alone completely with Nicole.
There was a private bathroom on the side of the room which Nicole ordered Maxine to bath and freshen herself for tonight.
“Why aren’t I going back to my chambers? Or the community rooms?” Maxine asked worriedly. She was so on edge being here and her apprehensions were showing.
Stiffly, Nicole said, “Your master came down and personally informed me that plans were changed from the regular society itinerary.”
“So I should feel honored?” Maxine asked guiltily, yet in the pit of her stomach she screamed to demand to give her all the answers to all of her questions.
“You should feel that you must be special,” Nicole said disappointedly. “Do you even care about what you do to him?”
“Do you?” Maxine retorted. “You know what these men do to women and you do nothing.”
“I do my best to look out for the women’s interest.”
”If your pockets are lined correctly.”
“My pockets have nothing to do with my concern.”
“Oh really? So you know about some women coming up missing and you just ignore it huh?”
“I don’t know what you mean?”
She couldn’t tell if Nicole was lying or not, but she knew she didn’t have enough to really be talking about this matter. “Whether you know or not, Nicole, something’s not right about things around here and maybe you need to get out of La La Land and see with your eyes wide open what’s going on.”
“I do my best-“
Maxine cut her off. “Really Nicole? Do you really do your best to protect these women? Or are you blind on purpose because you really don’t want to see what’s going on.”
Nicole looked remorseful. “Since Devon took over, it’s been difficult. Really difficult. He even hired a new Lisa, which I don’t have any power to speak to.”
“A new Lisa?”
“That’s who we call the woman who goes around recruits for us. You met her.”
Maxine knew her cover would be blown if she said another word, so she nodded and went to the bathroom to do as she was told wondering the whole time what was going to happen to her. When she came out, the room had been semi cleared except a hair and makeup mobile standing in the corner by a large mirror, where Nicole was standing and beckoning Maxine to come over.
“You’re right,” Nicole said. “I haven’t been paying attention to the girls worried about Devon and what he might do to me. I’ll look into anything suspicious,” she promised. “And I’ve been angry at you because I do worry about your master. I’ve always cared about him deeply since he was young and forced to come here by his father. He’s different since meeting you. You’ve changed him. I hope tonight you try to make things easier for him. He could give you what want, if you really want it.”
Sitting in the chair, Maxine allowed Nicole to help with her hair and makeup for the night. Nicole kept everything soft and light just the way Maxine liked it. The dress that Maxine had chosen didn’t need to be altered. Maxine made sure she put the key Carla had given her in her new dress without Nicole seeing her.
“You’re to have special instruction today, but in no way are you to discuss our organization with your instructor or any of our ways. Do you understand?” Nicole said once they were done. “Your master paid a fortune to give you this opportunity.”
Maxine didn’t understand, but she nodded just the same.
“You’ll be carefully monitored the whole time you’re alone with her and until you are returned to your master’s presence,” Nicole warned. “Obedience is a must.”
Again Maxine nodded as if she understood.
Nicole continued, “You will work hard to learn all instructions from the instructor. Afterwards you and your instructor will be taken to your chamber with your master.”
Confused, Maxine frowned while the doors opened and a tall slender sultry blonde woman who was blinded folded and guided in by Derrick, but she was smiling pleasantly.
Nicole snapped her fingers and Derick left the room while she went over to the blonde woman. When the blindfold was taken out off her, she was still relatively calm.
“Your student,” Nicole said pointing at Maxine.
The woman turned Maxine’s way and accessed her from head to toe. Immediately, Maxine felt like she was a preschooler in the presence of a woman that beamed sexual confidence.
What kind of instruction was she going to teach Maxine? And why didn’t it feel like this woman was a part of the organization?
End of excerpt
I would love to know – for the story – what you think, what you may think I may forget or anything else you’d like to ask me.
- #DarkFacade Book 4 Coming soon | Updates & Partial Book Cover Reveal #Sneakreaders #amreading #amwriting (sylviahubbard.com)
- AUTHOR’S NOTE: Writing a series… pressure, pleasure and pain #DarkFacade READERS QUESTIONS #amreading #amwriting (sylviahubbard.com)