Arrested Pleasure

By: Holli Winters


For the cancer survivors out there. It's a big battle that I hope one day we will win forever.

Chapter One

"That's going to get you arrested."

Cassie Nichols toyed with the silvery ring between her fingers as she contemplated Dani's words. The slick, cold metal of the cock ring warmed as she played with it. Hard to believe what this little trinket did to a man.

"Gavin is well aware it's just a game we're playing. He won't call the authorities.

He'll just laugh and tease me." She slipped the cock ring into her black Louis Vuitton purse, a gift from her mother last Christmas, and glanced at her best friend and fellow masseuse. "Honestly, I'm over him. We're only having some fun. Heck, last time I left him one of my little presents he called and wanted to know what I planned to bring next."

Dani shook her head, disapproval clear in her expression. "He'll soon grow tired and sic the cops on you for harassment. That'll only infuriate your father even more."

She sighed at the mention of her father. "Screw my father. I'm an adult and running my own business and damn proud of what I'm doing." She picked up her purse. "If it means being naughty once in a while, so what?"

Even after all this time her father couldn't understand why she'd opened a spa in the seediest part of Portland rather than in Seaside, closer to where they lived. Instead, she had turned her back on her father's advice and took a rundown office space in a dilapidated building in a bad part of town and made the spa one of Portland's most popular spots to get massages and other services. But the success of her business didn't matter to him. He still harped on her occasionally about her decision to leave her hometown of Seaside.

Pulling out her compact, Cassie checked her makeup. The air felt humid from the recent rain, and she wanted to be her best in case she ran into Gavin. Well, what woman wouldn't want to look her best for any man?

She regarded herself in the mirror, wondering why she couldn't seem to attract men who wanted permanency. Maybe part was due to her mixed-race heritage? Long black hair and dark brown eyes accented the Philippine legacy she'd inherited from her mother, Nola. She'd stood out in school and only seemed to attract the wrong kind of men.

"I wonder if men would take me seriously if I became a redhead."

Dani slid into the chair across from her. "Honey, if you were gray-haired, the men would still flock to you. You're like an exotic bird in a sea of sparrows."

"Well, poo." She pouted at Dani. "I wish I'd ended up taking after my father."

"No, you don't. You're happy with the way you are."

Cassie glanced at her friend. She knew her too well. "Yeah, you're right." She shrugged her shoulders. "Maybe someday a guy will appreciate me for my personality."

She ran a comb through her hair and decided to leave it loose, rather than her usual ponytail. Her long dark mane was the envy of several of her friends, yet she rarely did anything special with it. Work tended to be her mojo of late.

Though her friends called her an exotic beauty with the ability to snare any man she wanted, Cassie rarely dated. She didn't have the time and most of the men she came into contact with didn't meet her three S's of specifications.

Successful, single, and sexy.

"Want to meet for drinks later tonight after your visit with Gavin?" Dani interrupted Cassie's thoughts.

"Hmm . . . can't. I have my monthly dinner with Tim and his family." Cassie slid her compact back into her purse and unfolded her long frame from the chair. In spite of her lukewarm feelings for her father, she adored her older brother. "Besides, I need to get cracking at the ledger again. Can't believe how bad I let my books lapse. Especially with Isaiah Winkler breathing down my neck."

Dani grimaced. "Don't remind me that I may not have a job in a few weeks.

Damn him."

"Tell me about it. The jerk is determined to drive me out of business for some high priced condos or an easy to manage parking garage. Whatever gets him the most money."

"Maybe you should charm him out of his pants." Dani chuckled as she said the words.

Cassie rolled her eyes at the vision of seducing the overweight and much older Isaiah Winkler. "Get real. I wouldn't get kissy-face with the asshole. Besides, I'm sure he loves his money much more than he does women."

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