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Brunette

Her day started off like any other. The morning alarm woke her to the beautiful sight of sun streaming in her window and the tantalising aroma of coffee from the kitchen. Man, she loved programmable coffee makers – one of the only good things to come out of her two-year long relationship with her lousy ex. Well, he was long gone, but in the 6 months she had been single, Eve didn’t think a day had gone by when she didn’t thank her lucky stars she’d manage to steal his coffee maker. She bounded out of bed and into the little kitchen to get her first hit of coffee. She didn’t even bother to sit, just walked to the little window, leaned a hip against the wall and stared out. There were many things that had attracted her to the 28 th floor of the downtown Denver apartment building, but the view – well that was number one. A clear view from the kitchen all the way to the Rockies. It was no wonder she hadn’t bothered with drapes in any of the rooms. The only people she was likely to flash were the traffic copters and they were pretty loud in announcing themselves. Draining the cup, she decided to have a twenty minute work-out in her little home gym to clear the last of the cobwebs away before grabbing a shower, breakfast and then heading to work. If the view was number one on her list, then proximity to work was definitely number two. The precinct was a mere 20 minutes brisk walk through the sights and sounds of downtown Denver. No cars, no buses, no jam packed light rail to contend with. Heaven! Eve had been on the force for 5 years now and on the whole, she had to say she loved her job. Yeah it had its ups and downs like any other, but the investigating, the thrill of the chase, being in control – she loved it all. Just as she was clearing away the last of the paperwork that she had lying around, her Lieutenant stuck his head over her booth and asked her to collect a pool car and go and take follow-up witness statements from a few people in connection with an attempted robbery she was investigating. “No probs LT,” she replied. “I’ll try not to be too long.” “No worries if you are,” he said. “Two of them are just on the outskirts, but one guy lives up in the foothills. If you finish up near the end of your shift, just drop the car in the lot and head on home.” Add an easy-going Lieutenant to the list of reasons she loved her job! She was fairly quick in getting statements from the first two people. Neither of them could add anything more than what they had said to the other officer on the day and she could tell they were trying to get rid of her quickly, pretty embarrassed to have been caught up in the whole affair. “Oh well,” she thought to herself, “It’s not every day someone tries to rob an upmarket sex store.” She had to admit to herself, she was delighted to get this case as she had been secretly dying to have a look inside the place, but could never quite bring herself to go in as a customer. Sex for her had always been pretty straightforward, one guy, one girl, no kinky stuff, no role playing, no tying up. Lately she had found herself wondering if there was more to life. Laughing out loud in the car, she gave herself a shake. “That’s what being single for 6 months will do to a girl. I would settle for a date at the moment!” She settled in for the journey across town to the interstate, pushing the buttons on the radio until she found some rock. Cranking the volume up and the windows down, she sang loudly along, enjoying the afternoon sunshine. The traffic wasn’t too bad at this hour so she made decent time to the interstate and started the climb into the foothills. After twenty minutes or so the sat-nav told her to take the exit and she found herself on a quieter road heading north. After a further 10 mins the polite, electronic voice told her that her destination was on the right. Puzzled, she gazed down the road – there were no houses here. Then her keen eyes spotted a shallow in-shot just up ahead. Slowing to a crawl, she realised there were high iron gates set back from the road slightly and they were tightly shut. She was just about to pull in and get out of the car and test them when she noticed the intercom to one side, so she pulled over next to it, turned the volume down on the radio and leaned out the window to press the button. After a few moments, a wonderfully rich, deep male voice came through the speaker. “Towerdene House, can I help you?” “Ah hi,” Eve said tentatively. “I’m not sure I have the right place. I’m looking for Mr Cade Monroe.” “This is he,” said the voice. “Oh, good afternoon Sir. My name is Officer Eve Whitby and I was hoping to take a follow-up statement and ask you a few more questions about the attempted robbery at Underworld on Tuesday afternoon.” “Of course Officer, please come in,” the smooth reply came. “Feel free to leave your vehicle in front of the main steps.” “Thank you Sir,” Eve replied as the gates started to swing silently open. She drove on through and glanced in her rear view mirror to see them closing just as silently behind her. The driveway before her turned sharply to the right and began to climb steeply. After a few minutes of twists and turns, Eve was wondering just how big the grounds of this house were. She still could see nothing except trees on either side, and the driveway continued its steep incline in front of her. She estimated it must have been about 5 whole minutes before the trees suddenly gave way to a large manicured lawn. The lawn continued the incline and without thinking she stopped the car as she took in the massive house that towered over the expansive lawn. ‘House’ didn’t even do it justice. It was huge! It looked more like a castle, with towers and balconies all done in a fabulous dark gray colour that called medieval tales to mind. Eve started the car moving again, the driveway skirted the lawn to the right and opened into a big turning circle in front of the main steps. She parked up and exited the car, patting her pockets to make sure she had her trusted notebook and pen. Eve couldn’t help but feel slightly intimidated as she walked up the steps to the massive entranceway. Just as she was climbing the final few steps, the right hand portion of the large wooden door swung open. The man that stood framed in the doorway certainly matched the voice she had heard on the intercom. Eve was tall for a woman, at 5’9” but this man towered over her. He must have been at least 6’3” or possibly 6’4”. He was dressed smartly in a dark charcoal suit but wore it casually, with no tie and the white shirt unbuttoned at the collar. His raven coloured hair was slightly longer than might be considered fashionable but it added a dash of charm to his otherwise elegant demeanour. But it was the eyes that caught and held Eve’s attention. Those dark, dark eyes, almost black in colour had a power in them that she couldn’t deny. Giving herself a mental shake, she held out her hand in greeting. “Mr Monroe?” she asked. “I’m Officer Whitby, thank you so much for agreeing to see me Sir.” “The pleasure is almanbahis all mine Officer, I assure you,” he replied, accepting her hand in a firm grip, wondering if she felt the same little jolt of electricity that he did. “Please come in and I shall endeavour to answer your questions. Would you care for some hot tea or coffee?” “Coffee would be good if it’s not too much trouble,” Eve replied, surreptitiously rubbing her hand on her thigh. Was it just her imagination or had there been a tangible spark when their hands had met? “It’s no trouble at all. I was just about to take a break myself. Please follow me to the kitchen and we can settle ourselves there so you can interrogate me.” His eyes flashed with amusement as he said this and turned to lead the way upstairs. “You have a beautiful home,” Eve commented as she followed him up the broad sweep of stairs and through a long hallway leading all the way to the right of the property. “Thank you,” Cade replied. “It’s been in my family for generations. I recently completed renovation work on it to meet my specifications. Moving the kitchen up to this floor was one of my changes. What do you think?” Saying this, he stopped at the doorway and let her precede him into the room. Wow, was all she could think. The kitchen was huge. Pale and gleaming cabinets and stainless steel appliances stretched away to both sides, with a huge island in the middle. Beyond that, the room opened up and there was a long oak table that must have been able to seat 12 easy. Beyond that again, the room curved into a graceful bay window, which led out to one of the many balconies she had spotted from the outside. She could see another table and chairs outside on the patio area, with a little parasol to block the worst of the sun. Eve had a sudden image of breakfasting out on the patio with Cade after a long, hard night of… hold on! Where on earth were her thoughts going? She was on duty and thinking sexual thoughts about a potential witness to a crime she was trying to solve. Flushing, she turned back to Cade, who had crossed to the coffee maker and switched it on. He was watching her carefully, his eyes amused again, almost as though he could tell what direction her thoughts had strayed in. Impossible, thought Eve, get a grip on yourself. “It’s wonderful,” she said, aware of the inadequacy of her statement. “It’s so modern and light and airy. The house seems so imposing on the drive up, so this is ummm, refreshing.” She winced, “Sorry – I don’t mean to sound rude. It’s breathtaking, really.” “No offence taken,” he chuckled. “The house can be pretty imposing, although I don’t necessarily find that a bad thing, depending on who my guests are.” Leaving that mysterious statement unexplained he waved a hand for her to sit at the little breakfast bar at the end of the row of cabinets. “Please sit and you can ask me your questions.” Eve settled herself on one of the high stools at the breakfast bar and took a moment to collect her thoughts. This man was imposing enough, never mind his house. She was slightly worried she was going to come across as a babbling idiot if she didn’t pull herself together. “Cream, milk, sugar?” queried Cade. “A little cream would be good thanks, no sugar. I must admit, I thought you would have maids or servants to do all this for you,” she laughed. “The house has the look of a place bustling with servants.” “I like to cook, so the kitchen is mostly my domain,” Cade replied. “Although, I have been known to occasionally have a servant or two in the past.” The unholy amusement in his eyes set Eve blushing again as she realised he was not referring to the hired help. “Forgive me Officer, it’s endearing for me to see a capable young woman, in uniform no less, blushing. I don’t mean to tease… well, ok I do, but I don’t mean to make you uncomfortable. I do have domestic help a couple of times a week, just to assist with the maintenance of the place, but on the whole, I’m here alone. I do entertain a lot though, hence the kitchen and dining table. No matter where my guests and I start the evening off, we always seem to end up in here. Anyway, enough of my rather tedious social life. You have questions to ask me, please, ask away.” Relieved to be back on track with the job at hand, Eve guided Cade through the series of follow up questions she had. He was remarkably astute and had a couple of pieces of information regarding the perpetrator that had not previously come to light, so she took notes so she could follow up any possible leads the following day. He admitted that he had not been quite as forthcoming with the officer in charge on the day, but only because the fellow had shown an uneducated contempt for those frequenting a sex store, no matter how high class and expensive its merchandise was. “Please let me apologise on behalf of the department, Mr Monroe,” Eve said. “We aim to be professional at all times but I guess sometimes people’s personal prejudices show through.” “No need to apologise Officer…. May I call you Eve? I’m usually on first name terms with people I discuss my sex life with.” “Of course Sir… ummm Cade?” she replied. “Hmmm, Sir Cade has a certain flair, I grant you, but Cade will do,” he laughed. “Ironically, the better you get to know me, the greater the chance you will be allowed to address me as Sir.” Eve flushed, flustered as she realised what he was talking about. “I really don’t want to offend you Cade, it’s just I don’t really know anything about the lifestyle you’re referring to. If I say something inappropriate, please know it’s out of innocent ignorance rather than contempt.” “I appreciate your honesty,” Cade said, tilting his head as if examining her. “It’s refreshing. Sex is that last big taboo. It’s so strange. Most people do it, most people enjoy it, it’s not illegal… but ask most people to discuss it and they shy away. I understand sex can be an intensely private thing for some, but we’re not asking them to video it… although, that can also be an interesting experience if done correctly.” “Forgive me,” he laughed again as Eve blushed furiously. What was wrong with her today? “I seem to enjoy bringing that colour to your cheeks.” Reaching out a hand he gently stroked the back of his finger down her cheek where the colour had risen. “Eve,” he spoke her name quietly now. “Would you stay and have dinner with me tonight?” The breath backed up in Eve’s lungs. Was this charismatic and let’s face it, gorgeous man actually asking her for a date? “I can’t tonight I’m afraid,” she admitted, hoping her disappointment was evident. Once a month, on a Friday, I’m honour bound to babysit my nieces, so my sister actually gets some alone time with her husband.” “Tomorrow then,” he pressed. “Can I take you to dinner tomorrow? There’s a place not too far from here that does a mean steak.” A thousand reasons flashed through Eve’s mind as to why she should say no, potential witness being one of them. Cade kept his gaze steady on hers as if he could read the thoughts as they ran through her almanbahis yeni giriş head. Just this once, thought Eve, to hell with the rules. “I’d like that,” she said, smiling. Saturday dawned bright and sunny and Eve got a solid hour’s work out in her gym before heading to the shower. Her sister had been so excited when she heard about Eve’s date that she had insisted on a girls’ afternoon shopping spree, successfully dumping Brian and the kids with her mother in law for the day. She’d had to practically flee from Jessie’s clutches the night before after they had returned from their date and she had still been shouting comments on ‘appropriate sexy underwear’ as Eve had bolted for her car. She was just glad the neighbours hadn’t woken up! As she stood soaping herself under the pulsing water, Eve’s thoughts drifted to Cade. She had never been so outrageously attracted to someone she barely knew. There was an aura about him, a kind of power, for want of a better word. She thought back to the graze of his knuckle down her cheek and could almost feel her cheek tingling at the memory. As she rubbed her soapy hands over her torso she realised her nipples were erect and sensitive. God, I’m like a randy teenager, she thought. She reached a hand between her legs and sure enough it wasn’t just the shower making her wet. Groaning in sexual frustration, she removed her hand and focussed on the job at hand. She didn’t have long before she had to meet Jess and her sister would kill her if she was late. She quickly rinsed off and towel dried, pulling her long dark hair up into a messier and looser version of the serviceable bun she wore for work. She opted for comfy jeans and a t-shirt combo, knowing Jessie would probably have her trying on god knows how many outfits. Four hours later, Eve staggered back into her apartment, laden with bags, her poor credit card abused and battered. Jessie didn’t get the chance to shop much now, with the twins and Brian, but when she was let loose, boy she really went for it. Eve now had so many new sets of underwear she wondered if her sister had bought shares in Victoria’s Secret. She also had 3 new dresses and as much as she tried to convince herself she would take 2 of them back to the store once Jess was far, far away, she knew she wouldn’t – she loved them! She spent a good while on her make-up but figured after being single for 6 months, she was allowed to. She never normally bothered with make-up for work – too open to sexist remarks from the male officers – but she enjoyed taking the time and was satisfied when she stood back to look critically in the mirror. Her deep green eyes stared back at her, the darker shadow giving a smoky effect, her lashes long and darkened with mascara, cheekbones subtly highlighted with shimmer. She left her lips bare of colour, just slicking some clear gloss over them and turned to choose a dress from her purchases. After a few minutes deliberating, she chose the dark purple one. It was the plainest and its hemline was definitely the most decent, but it was cut just low enough at the neck to make it a challenge to whoever happened to be sitting across from her to keep their eyes on her face. Especially, she thought smugly, with her fab new lingerie, which did interesting things her bust. She reached up and loosened the knot of her hair, which tumbled down her back in sexy waves, put on her new killer heels, grabbed her clutch bag and wrap and headed for the door. Cade stood as Eve was ushered over to the table in the restaurant. He had seen her enter and give her name to the hostess and had felt a jolt deep in his stomach as she had looked over and caught his gaze. He couldn’t take his eyes off her. She was simply ravishing. He took her hand as she drew close and raised it to his lips. “Eve, words fail me.” “Just don’t tell the other cops about the dress, ok?” she laughed in reply, her nerves receding. “They think I live in jeans.” “Your secret is safe with me,” Cade’s eyes twinkled as he smiled. Dinner was wonderful and Eve was pleasantly surprised at how much they had in common. They shared similar tastes in music, literature and even sport. How can we have so much in common and yet lead such widely different lifestyles, she wondered. “Eve, would you care to come back to mine for a night cap before you head home,” Cade asked as he settled their check. “Sure,” she agreed, reluctant to cut the night short “but only for a little while, as I have to work tomorrow unfortunately.” On the short drive back to Cade’s, she found herself wondering again about the lifestyle he led and resolved to find out more. They had both deliberately avoided the subject during dinner, as if testing the waters to see what other common ground they had, other than what had brought them together. At the house, they headed up to the kitchen and Cade retrieved a bottle of wine that had been chilling in the fridge. Pouring two glasses, he handed her one and led the way out through the bay window onto the patio. The clear mountain air had a little bite to it and Eve was glad of her wrap, but she forgot all about that when she saw the view the balcony afforded. She was looking due East and she could see all the way to the lights of downtown Denver. They twinkled and sparkled in the darkness and took her breath away. “You can see my building from here,” she said quietly, pointing it out. “I never realised we were this high above the tree line. What a view.” She fell silent again, drinking the sight in. “Cade,” she said hesitantly, turning to him. “Can you tell me something of your lifestyle?” His eyes looked deeply into hers for a long while before he answered. “It’s getting late to start long winded explanations Eve… how about I show you instead?” He chuckled at the look of startled panic on her face and raised his hands in mock innocence. “A visual tour only I promise, this one time.” He led her back to the ground floor, to a plain wooden door, tucked away in a quiet corner. “Come and see,” he invited as he opened the door and led the way down a long flight of stairs. As she followed Cade down the stairs and into the dimly lit room the objects on display caused her to stop and look around in wonder. The room was large, Eve estimated it must take up a good part of the footprint of the house, and was dominated by an enormous mirror on the far wall which made it seem even bigger. On her left, stretching away from her was a row of deep-drawered filing cabinets and on her right she could make out a little sitting and kitchen area. Her brow wrinkled momentarily at the sight, but she soon forgot about it when she laid eyes on the table in the middle of the room. To call the contraption something as mundane as a table was probably a slight to the manufacturer, but Eve could think of no other name for the object before her. Passing Cade, she took a few tentative steps towards it then stopped short again to examine it from a safe distance. “My pet project…” Cade’s voice, murmured into her ear, made her jump, the low almanbahis giriş tone and underlying sexual tension sending shivers down her spine. “Go on, take a closer look,” he invited. Eve walked slowly to the table, her eyes riveted, as she tried to take it all in. The table itself was just about waist height and covered with deep red velvet padding. Instead of the conventional rectangular shape, the table was a giant ‘X’ At each point of the X, iron loops had been built in, and a variety of loops, some with straps and buckles attached adorned the sides of the table. The X was thicker in the middle, so as to give plenty of support to a person’s torso when they were spread-eagled on it, but still, it was a blatantly sexual object and highly arousing. Eve could feel her stomach churning at all the possibilities the table represented, should one be bound and at its mercy. As she rounded the bottom of the table, she noticed a variety of levers and looked questioningly at Cade. “Go on – give one a turn,” he said, with an amused smile tugging at the corner of his mouth. Grasping the biggest handle, Eve turned it and gasped when the bottom legs of the X began to move apart. As she reached for one of the other levers, Cade stopped her with a hand on hers. “Leave the rest to the imagination for now pet,” he commanded. “Would you care for a top-up?” “Ah… sure,” Eve said, reluctantly drawing her eyes away from the table and followed Cade to the kitchen area. She took a seat as Cade topped up their glasses with the wine he had brought down. “Why on earth do you have a kitchen down here?” she questioned. “Is the one upstairs not big enough?” “Not at all,” Cade replied, “I sometimes spend hours at a time down here, and I find it… convenient to have certain things close to hand.” Eve’s gaze was once again drawn to the table. “Hours…?” Just the thought of it sent her stomach jumping again and she nervously gulped the wine Cade handed to her to try and settle her nerves. Cade settled on the couch across from her, deliberately putting a bit of distance between them. He could see the effect he, and the surroundings, were having on her and whilst he didn’t mind making her nervous, he didn’t want her to bolt for the door. The unexpected pang he felt when he thought about losing her before he could entice her onto the table was a surprise. This woman pulled something from him, and he was not quite sure what that was yet. Better to tuck that away and analyse later – he was a man used to being in control, and no sign of weakness or uncertainly would be outwardly displayed unless he meant it. Tonight was for getting to know each other a bit better. The table wasn’t going anywhere. “Eve, please relax – I’m not going to hit you over the head and strap you into the table against your will!” It was exactly the right thing to say to calm Eve’s nerves. “As if you could take me pal,” she scoffed. He gave a quick delighted smile. “Now that would be a challenge I could get behind, but not tonight, and certainly not in that dress.” Eve settled back against the deep cushions of the couch. “So, this… dungeon,” she waved her hand around, looking for the right words, “you what, bring slave girls here for bondage sessions?” Cade barked out a laugh. “You say that in a way that makes it seem… less than what it is. Let’s just say I am sometimes accompanied here by very willing volunteers, eager to explore new scenes and sensations that may not be available to them elsewhere.” “Very diplomatically put,” Eve remarked amused. “One would almost assume you were afraid the cops might hear you.” “I don’t just see a cop when I look at you Eve,” Cade said, his manner sombre. “I see a woman first and foremost. One who likes to be in control and one who I suspect is wondering very much what it would feel like to relinquish that control to the right person.” He gazed at her, his intense dark eyes full of secrets and desire. “I want you to let me be that person.” “God,” Eve breathed. “Do you know what you are asking of me? I’m 28 years old and haven’t even found someone I trust enough to take the garbage out for me! I guess I got used to relying on myself and being in control. Kinda comes with the job, you know?” She smiled ruefully. “Eve, I always say that denial of the mind inevitably leads to denial of the body. Ask yourself why you are 28 years old and haven’t met anyway you can trust. Perhaps what you need from a lover is something that those you have previously met simply cannot provide.” Eve stared at him, her expression thoughtful. “I’ve never thought about it that way before,” she said softly. “Well, do us both a favour and start thinking!” Cade said, the twinkle once again back in his eye. “Now, before we get too melancholy, tell me in great detail about all these men you have not trusted in the past.” Laughing, Eve sipped her wine again and prepared to tell the Cade of her triumph with the programmable coffee maker. * * * With the front door in sight, the whole evening was starting to feel a little bit like a fantasy that Eve had made up in her head. Her earlier nerves had faded completely and once she had relaxed, Cade had proved to be charming company. Watching her out the corner of his eye, Cade decided he didn’t want her too relaxed, so a few feet from the door he took her by the shoulders and slowly backed her up against the wall. Eve’s senses went into overdrive as he towered over her, millimetres away from having his whole body pressed against hers. “Make no mistake Eve, I want you. I want to see you strapped to my table, and watch your eyes as I do things to your body that you can only imagine. I want to hear what sounds you make when your body is saturated with pleasure and you’re begging me to stop. I want you to take some time to think about it, but know this… if you come back here again, you’re mine.” Her chin lifted at that, and her eyes blazed. “I am my own person!” She was proud that her voice didn’t tremble, although she could feel the hammering of her heart in her throat. He lifted a finger and traced it down her neck gently. “I can feel your heart racing. I haven’t even touched you yet. Imagine the possibilities…” He let that thought trail off. “I’ll be in touch.” With that, he stood back and walking to the door, opened it for her. She took a moment to get her breathing under control, then pushed off the wall and walked past him into the night air. The cab was waiting at the bottom of the stairs – a familiar and mundane object in what had been frankly, a bizarre night for her. As she opened the car door she glanced back up the stairs. He was still watching her. “Think of me,” his voice drifted down. She knew that was one command she would not be able to fight. * * * The next few days were reassuringly normal for Eve. She went to work, caught criminals, kept her dates in court, testifying against the bad guys and generally tried to keep as busy as possible to keep her mind off Cade and his ‘proposals’. But try as she might, no matter what time she returned home, she was always left alone with her thoughts and they kept returning to the man, the house and the table. On Friday morning the alarm once again woke her and she settled into her usual place by the kitchen window with her coffee.

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