Alek likes to tie up women. As a rigger, he's into the aesthetics of bondage--the pattern of rope against skin, the marks left in tender flesh--but he also likes the high of being in control and, yeah, it turns him on. When Alek needs a model to complete the photographs for his book on rope bondage, he asks his friend Shaela.
Shaela has known Alek since high school, and while she disapproves of his kinky sexual habits, he's a friend and she agrees to help. She's not prepared for the experience of being tied up. Being bound and helpless releases her from her everyday problems--her slave-driver boss, her unsatisfying career and her derogatory father. She's also helplessly aroused.
So is Alek. He sees how Shaela loves being bound, even though she doesn't want to admit it, and proposes they explore it together. Intrigued but nervous, Shaela agrees. Neither of them expects to learn the things they do about each other--and about themselves. And neither of them expects to fall in love.
There are no customer reviews available at this time. Would you like to write a review?
November 13, 2009
Number of Print Pages*
Adobe DRM EPUB
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.
Excerpt from Rigger by Kelly Jamieson
"I am not letting you tie me up."
"Come on, Shaela." Alek rubbed his forehead. "I'm in a bind here."
Shaela laughed and leaned back into the overstuffed cushions of her couch. "In a bind! That's so funny."
"Seriously. I have a deadline and if I don't get started on these photographs right away I'm going to be in trouble."
Damn. Alek was not only her neighbor, he was a good friend, and he was so excited about this big contract he'd gotten to publish a book of his erotic photographs, she hated to think of something screwing that up.
"What about Brigit?"
"We broke up."
"Oh dear. What happened? She decided being a slave to a man wasn't her thing after all?"
"She wasn't my slave. Jesus, Shaela."
"Whatever." She waved a hand. His unique relationships with his girlfriends were none of Shaela's business, even though if she thought much about it she got a funny, quivery feeling way down low inside her. Because she totally disapproved of a woman letting a man tie her up and do kinky things to her. Alek's lifestyle was something they had agreed to disagree on a few years back when they'd reconnected after college.
"It was just done," he said dismissively. Apparently he didn't want to talk about that. Which was fine, because Shaela didn't really want to talk about her recent breakup with Ashton, either, only the last in a long string of disappointing, unsatisfying relationships.
"You must be able to find someone else." She sat up and leaned forward.
"I tried." He shoved a hand through his longish caramel-colored hair. "It has to be the right person."
"And you think I'm the right person for that?" She fell back into the cushions, giggling. "That's hysterical!"
"Well, you look good," he said, eyeing her. He stood in front of her, legs apart, hands on his hips.
Warmth heated her skin beneath her T-shirt and she hoped it didn't wash its way up into her face. She cursed that blushing gene that went along with fair, slightly freckled skin and reddish hair.
"Thanks," she said dryly, sitting up again.
"You know I wouldn't ask you unless I was desperate."
"Well, that makes me feel really good."
"I just mean...oh shit." He rubbed his face. "I mean, I know how you feel about this stuff, that's why I wouldn't ask you...dammit, nothing's coming out right."
She softened inside. "Yeah, yeah, I know what you mean."
"Come on, Shaela. Don't make me beg. You know I hate that."
"You prefer it when someone else is begging you."
"Yeah." He grinned, that stunningly gorgeous grin that had women falling at his feet. Literally. Although his sexual practices had first shocked her when she'd learned about them, over the last few years she'd grown to accept them if not approve of them.
"I don't know, Alek." She studied him. Deep down inside he was a good guy. They'd known each other since high school. He might have some kinky sexual preferences but he was a decent, honest, talented man. "I don't know if I want my face all over the place in a book about bondage."
"You've seen my photographs," he said. "No one will even recognize you."
His images were in fact beautiful--she had to admit it, even though she protested the subject matter. His erotic photography had been a sort of hobby, a sideline to his commercial photography business, but he'd generated so much interest with his website, he'd gotten the idea of doing a book. And deep down inside, she also had to admit, she was flattered he actually wanted to photograph her. It was the bound-and-gagged part that bugged her.
"Come on, Shaela. I signed a contract. They gave me an advance. I have to get this done. It's my first book and you know how much I want this."
Yeah, she did. She sighed. She met his eyes. And she realized her comment about him begging had been wildly off the mark, because the look in his amber-colored eyes was so mesmerizing and so compelling she almost felt she had no choice in this matter. And to her deep surprise she heard herself agreeing to help him.
"Thank god," he said fervently, and he reached for her hands and hauled her up off her couch. He enveloped her in a tight squeeze up against his big, hard body, then released her. "Thank you. Can we start tomorrow night?"
"Uh...sure. Why not?" She didn't have much else going on. Since breaking up with Ashton, her evenings and weekends were wide open, besides the late hours she often worked and twice a week Pilates classes.
* * * * *
"Shaela, I need those drawings. Now."
Shaela looked up at her boss from where she stood at the photocopier and pressed her lips together. She was in the middle of making ten copies of the project plan for their four o'clock meeting, only five minutes away.
"They're on my desk," she said, tapping her fingers on the lid of the photocopier. "I'll bring them to you as soon as I finish this."
Slave Driver Sam scowled but returned to his office.
Photocopying. Geez. What a waste of her time and talent. These days she seemed to do more and more of that, not to mention creating spreadsheets and timelines, typing up minutes of meetings and even, dammit, ordering office supplies. She was an interior designer, not a damn secretary.
She loved her interior design job but was starting to wonder if Cadence Design Inc. was a good fit for her. She'd wanted to work for a big corporate design company, but she felt as if the creativity was being sucked out of her by long hours and too much tedious administrative work. She glanced at her watch, rolled her eyes. The four o'clock meeting was scheduled for an hour, but there was no way they were going to get through everything on the agenda, especially with Sam, who got off on irrelevant tangents and wasted everyone's time. And then he wondered why they were behind schedule.
She gathered up the documents and hurried back to her cubicle. She'd have to staple them after she dropped off the drawings for the project Sam had asked for. One of several projects. At least business was good.
Sam didn't even say thanks, just snatched the drawings from her and started studying them. "I thought we were changing this alcove..." he said.
His thick black brows drew together above his glasses. "Really? But this doesn't look right."
She swallowed a sigh. "That's what you said to do."
He gave her a squinty look. "I don't think so, Shaela. Someone must have screwed up. Change it back the way it was."
He had to be freakin' kidding! They were already under the gun on this project. Her stomach tightened into knots and she slowly sucked air into her lungs through her nose as she took the drawings back to her cubicle.
"I want to see it first thing in the morning," he called as she walked out of his office. She squeezed her face into a tight grimace with her back to him.
In her cubicle, she threw herself into her chair at her desk and started to open her CAD program, but stopped. She had no time to do anything before the meeting. Shit.
She grabbed the copies she'd made earlier, hastily stapled them together, piled them up and grabbed her notepad before hurrying down the long carpeted hall to the meeting room.
At least she had attractive surroundings to work in, even though she was starting to wonder if this job was really right for her. The offices of Cadence Design occupied the thirtieth floor of Sloane Tower in downtown L.A. Walls of windows with views of the downtown skyline, sleek furniture, lots of plants and blonde maple wood created a light and airy space conducive to creative thinking.
Except she hardly had any damn time to be creative. Dammit.
She rushed into the meeting room, the last one to arrive, and slid the pile of photocopies down the polished maple table so everyone could take one. She dropped into the last empty chair as the meeting began.
Two hours later--had she called that right, or what?--her neck muscles throbbed and she felt a pulsing in her temples as she left the meeting room. And now she had to fix the designs before she left so she could hand them back to Sam first thing in the morning.
She chewed on her bottom lip as she worked, hoping she could still make it to Alek's studio for seven. Luckily his studio wasn't far from the office, but she could probably forget about eating dinner. She could have growled with frustration.
Finally. Done. She grabbed her purse and ran down the hall to the elevator, the last one in the office. Even Slave Driver Sam had gone home.
At least her crazy day had kept her mind from going back to what she was about to do in Alek's studio. Her stomach did a small cartwheel as she rode down the elevator, and heat flooded her body.
At exactly seven o'clock, she arrived at the studio, unsure of what to expect, which created more than a few butterflies flipping around in her stomach. She paused outside the door, hand on the knob, bent her head and took a few deep breaths. She'd been running all day. That's why she felt so breathless and on edge. She blew out one last breath, and opened the door.
She walked into the studio, a huge open space in a converted old warehouse. The outside wall was buff-colored brick, with thick black blinds covering the two windows. Exposed beams crisscrossed the high ceiling. Her flip-flops scuffed against the worn and scarred hardwood floor as she strolled toward Alek at the far end of the room.
She was surprised to see another man there. "This is Marco," Alek introduced them. "He's a photography student and he's been helping me out at my studio to get some experience."
She guessed Marco to be in his early twenties, dark-haired, deeply tanned, buff shoulders and arms, pretty damn good-looking for a young kid. She flashed Alek a look that said, "This is bad enough, does there have to be someone else here to witness my humiliation?" and she was pretty sure he got it, but he just grinned.
"He's going to take some shots of me while I'm doing the rope work," he explained. "But those aren't for the book."
"But..." But still. She'd be naked not only in front of one of her best friends, but also in front of a stranger. "Can I talk to you for a minute?" She jerked her head.
Alek shook his head but he walked with her to the far end of the studio where his "office" was--a desk with two computers, a futon for guests to sit on, and a change room.
"I don't want to take off my clothes in front of him!" she whispered.
"Don't worry," he said soothingly. "He's a photographer. He's seen it all. You're just another subject to him."
"Seriously, Alek, do you have to do that?"
"I don't have to. The pictures aren't for the book, they're just for me. But I want them. I can't capture images of myself when I work. It's kind of cool--the artist at work creating his art." He lifted one brow.
She pressed her lips together. "Fine. Let's get this over with."
They turned to walk back to the area he had set up for the photographs. A black metal light stand held one light up high on the right, and a large black board about four feet by eight feet was propped up on the left. A dark fabric background hung from ceiling to floor and spread out there, with a black wooden stool sitting in the middle. Marco held a light meter and checked readings as he flashed the strobe with a pop.
"Tonight we'll start with something simple," Alek said, picking up a coil of red rope.
Those butterflies inside her started beating their wings frantically. She couldn't believe she was going to do this.
"Are we ready?" He looked at Marco who grinned.
"You bet." Marco held up the camera.
They both looked at Shaela.
Time to take her clothes off. Oh boy.
"Not quite," she said, forcing a smile. "I, uh...where should I change?"
Alek tipped his head, the corners of his mouth lifting. "You can use the change room, if you want. Did you bring anything? A robe?"
"Um. No." She'd done her makeup the way he'd directed her to, with lots of dark eyeliner and shadow and a pale mouth, and all she'd brought with her was a lip gloss and eye shadow for touch-ups.
"Come here." He led the way to the change room, and when he opened the door he indicated a bathrobe hanging on a hook on the back of it. "You can put that on, if you want."
Stripping in front of two men was a bit too much for her. Although taking off a robe was only marginally less disturbing. She quickly took off her jeans and T-shirt, bra and panties, and pushed her arms into the soft terry robe.
She tied the belt around her waist, and looked at herself in the mirror before she left the small room. She'd straightened her long hair into a perfect shiny curtain. Her eyes, rimmed with dark makeup, glittered, her bottom lip quivered just a bit. Oh for god's sake. This was no big deal. Just some stupid pictures.
She opened the door and stepped out.