Sweet Persuasion(3)

By: Maya Banks

“The usual?” Serena asked as she and Faith walked out to the parking lot.

Faith shook her head. “If we’re going to have a down and dirty conversation, I don’t want to go to Cattleman’s.”

Serena lifted her brow. “Why not?”

“Because any one of the guys might be there,” Faith said.

“Good point,” Serena mumbled. The men that Faith worked with, gorgeous specimens of men all of them, regularly haunted Cattleman’s, a local pub and grill. The last thing Serena wanted was an audience. Although if one of them wanted to step up and volunteer to man her fantasies, she wouldn’t complain.

“Where to, then?” she asked as they stopped at their cars.

“How about my apartment?” Faith suggested. “It isn’t far, and I can warm up some leftovers.”

Serena sighed. “And there’s plenty of privacy for the juicy conversation you’re going to make me have.”

Faith grinned impishly. “Exactly.”

Serena followed Faith into her apartment. She’d only been inside Faith’s home once before, right after Faith’s fiancé, Gray Montgomery, had moved the majority of his things in.

“Excuse the mess,” Faith said as she stepped around a box on the floor.

“Moving?” Serena asked.

Faith’s smile lit up her entire face. “Gray and I are buying a house. We hope to move in as soon as we get married.”

“Julie is still mortally offended that you aren’t having a huge church wedding so she can make you look like a million dollars for the occasion,” Serena said as she settled onto a stool at the bar in the kitchen.

Faith made a face. “Neither Gray nor I was crazy about a big fuss. Not after everything that happened.” Her smile faltered as pain flitted across her brow. “Pop wanted a big wedding too so he could give me away, but honestly, Gray and I just want to be together. The sooner, the better.”

Serena smiled. “I think that’s great, Faith. You deserve to be happy after all you went through.”

“Enough about me,” Faith said brightly as she began taking containers out of the refrigerator. “We’re here to talk about you and these deviant fantasies of yours.”

Serena groaned. “Who the hell says they’re deviant?”

Faith chuckled. “The best ones always are. So what gives, Serena?” Faith’s expression became more somber as she gazed at her friend. “You haven’t been yourself lately. You seem withdrawn, like you’re unhappy about something.”

Serena plunked her elbows on the counter and cupped her jaw in her palm. “I’ve just been doing a lot of thinking.”


“The fact that I put so much time and effort into making other people’s fantasies come to life, but I ignore my own. And then I realized that I wouldn’t have the first clue how to make them come true anyway. Other people’s fantasies are so … normal compared to mine. My mother would have heart failure if she knew the girl she’d raised to be a self-sufficient, depend-on-no-man-for-your-security, successful businesswoman secretly fantasized about being a man’s sex slave.”

Faith choked then coughed delicately to mask her reaction. “Sex slave?” she squeaked.

“Yeah, knew you’d get a real kick out of that one,” Serena said glumly.

“Uh, no. I mean it’s just that’s the last thing I expected you to say.”

“Go ahead and say it. I’m crazy as a bat.”

Faith set a plate of lasagna in front of Serena then settled onto the stool across the bar. “You’re not crazy, Serena,” she said calmly. “But sex slave? Are you talking one night of hot sex where you play the slave to the master, or is this something else entirely?”

Serena felt warmth invade her cheeks. Damn it. Unlike Faith, she was not a blusher.

“Well, preferably it would be longer than one night, but not permanent or anything. I mean, I think I’d like it. The idea turns me on, but I might hate it too.”

Faith was silent for a long moment, and Serena fidgeted uncomfortably as she picked at her food.

“You’re wondering where on earth I came up with this, aren’t you?” Serena mumbled.

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