Sweet Persuasion(4)

By: Maya Banks

“Quit being defensive, and don’t apologize for your desires,” Faith scolded. “God, don’t women do that enough? I’m just trying to figure out how serious you are about this. I mean if you just want to play out a fantasy, you could always hire a … What do they call a male prostitute anyway?” Faith asked with a giggle.

Serena closed her eyes. “I’m not hiring a damn gigolo. I want someone halfway normal. Preferably someone who hasn’t already made it with half the women in Houston. And I’d like more than one night. I don’t know, maybe a month. I won’t be able to discover anything about the reality if it’s only one night.”

Faith gave her a thoughtful look. “I know someone who might be able to help you.”

Serena’s mouth gaped open. “You?”

Faith stuck her tongue out and scowled. “I’m not as innocent as you and Julie like to think.”

Serena laughed. “Oh, I know, girlfriend. It’s always the sweet, shy ones who are the real dirty birds.”

“Dirty birds?” Faith sputtered. “Need I remind you of who is plotting to become a sex slave?”

Serena grinned. “It has such a forbidden quality, doesn’t it?” She put a forkful of lasagna in her mouth and closed her eyes. “You’re a wonderful cook, you know? I can’t even boil water. I bet Gray thinks he’s in heaven.”

“He’s not marrying me for my cooking,” Faith said dryly.

“Admit it. You’re a total dirty bird,” Serena coaxed.

Faith flashed an unrepentant smile. “I can give you Damon Roche’s phone number.”

“Damon Roche? Is he the guy you think can turn me into a sex slave?”

“Not him personally,” Faith corrected. “But he owns a … hell, I’m still not sure what to call it. I suspect Damon wouldn’t appreciate me calling it a sex club.”

“Sex club?” Serena raised one brow and stared at Faith in surprise. “What the hell are you doing hanging out in a sex club?”

“It was only once,” Faith muttered.

“Clearly you’ve been holding out on me.”

“It didn’t exactly come up in conversation,” Faith said with a laugh. “Anyway, back to Damon. If you called him and told him what you wanted, I bet he could help. There seems to be something for everyone at his … establishment.”

“Is it safe?” Serena asked doubtfully.

“Extremely. Damon has very tight security, and he screens his members very thoroughly.”

“Does Gray know about this Damon guy?” Serena asked, more to make Faith blush than any real curiosity.

Instead of blushing, Faith smiled broadly. “Gray knows all about Damon. Damon is flying us to our honeymoon on his private jet.”

“The sex club business must be lucrative,” Serena murmured.

“Oh, The House is a side diversion. Damon’s a business-man.” Faith frowned. “You know, I don’t think he’s ever told me what it is exactly that he does.”

“Oh, great. He’s probably a drug dealer.”

“He’s not a drug dealer,” Faith said in exasperation. “Call him. Tell him what you want. He’s very easy to talk to.”

“You’re not going to try and talk me out of my insanity?”

Serena asked. “You’re my friend. You’re supposed to be mean and give me lectures so that later we can go on Oprah and talk about what soul sisters we are.”

“Or I could go on America’s Most Wanted after I kill you and dump your body in the gulf,” Faith muttered.

Serena shoveled more lasagna down and followed it with several gulps of tea.

“All right, I’ll call him. Provided I don’t go home and chicken out. You were supposed to talk me out of this, not provide me the name of someone who can help me down the road to debauchery.”

“The debauched ones have more fun,” Faith said with an evil twinkle in her eye.

“So says the voice of experience.”

Faith walked over to one of the drawers and took out a note-pad and pen. As she returned, she scribbled on a sheet of paper and then tore it out.

She slid it across the bar toward Serena. “Go home and call him.”

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