Cost of Love Preview
We weren’t really sure what we were doing the night of the fake dinner. Mr. Morgan and Cecil had explained things to us as to what was going to happen at the dinner and how it was different from what we were used to at the brothel and the parties they threw but the fake dinner seemed more like an opportunity for Mr. Morgan’s friends to take us for a free spin.
But then I laid eyes on the most attractive human I’d ever seen and I didn’t care if he spun me, twirled me, spanked me, fucked me on my head, or anythinged me. Everythinged me. Yes, I was even making up words, he could do that much to me.
The human laughed and his bright blue sapphire eyes sparkled as the light seemed to catch his deep chocolate hair that was perfectly manicured and I wanted to muck up… In bed. I felt like I was reading a fortune cookie because it seemed as if everything the rest of the night was going to have me adding in bed after it.
“So, pretend this is the dinner, our guests are arriving, and—” Cecil started to say.
“Got it,” I interrupted and turned on my heel so no one else got to my human first. I sauntered over to him, biting back a smile when he saw me and did a double take, spitting out his drink. Picking up a napkin from the bar, I dabbed his jacket.
“Are you all right, sir?”
“Yes, yes I’m f-fine,” he stuttered, staring down at me with big eyes. He was a tall one, maybe six-five with big, broad shoulders. I took his drink and set it on the bar.
“Club soda please?” I asked the bartender as I slid my hands under his jacket and took it off him. Then I dabbed the napkin in the liquid before laying the jacket out on the sofa adjacent to us. “We wouldn’t want this stain to set on such fine material.” I batted my eyelashes at him as I leaned over, jutting out my hip so my ass was completely on display. “Sir, would you mind giving me an extra set of eyes so I don’t miss any spots?”
“No—yes—I’ll—” He cleared his throat and stepped towards me. “It’s my jacket you’re being kind enough to take care of. Of course I’ll help.”
“You’ll have to move closer, sir. The light isn’t good enough from there,” I murmured as I worked on a few of the stains. He did but not where I wanted him to. “A little to the left, sir. You’re blocking my light now.”
“Oh, sorry.” He groaned deeply when that put his groin right up against my ass. “Sorry.”
“For what, sir?” I purred as I shifted my hips. “I think it’s a nice fit myself. Did I miss any spots?”
“No, you’re perfect,” he breathed as his hands moved to my waist.
“I meant the jacket,” I chuckled and nodded to it. “But thank you, sir.”
“Right.” His hands tightened on my waist but he glanced up and cleared his throat. “Looks wonderful. Thank you…”
“Sage, sir. I’m Sage Massey,” I hissed as I turned in his grasp and hopped up on the arm of the couch, angling my leg so he was now in between mine.
“Craig, good, you’ve met Sage,” Mr. Morgan chuckled as he joined us. “Sage is one of the ocelots we need an eye kept on so why don’t you be in charge of him since you guys are already friendly.”
“He fixed my jacket,” Craig explained, leaning over me and reaching for it which only pressed his hard-on against mine and I just about creamed myself right then. Jesus, he was hard for me.
I loved that in a man, especially when they weren’t tiny and they were big enough I could feel it when they were fully dressed as he was.
“That was nice of you, Sage,” Mr. Morgan mumbled as he glanced between us. But then someone called him and drew his focus. “Just make sure to watch him, Craig, tonight and at dinner. No one can imprint on him or they’re buying him.”
“Got it. Watch him,” Craig agreed as he dropped the jacket. Mr. Morgan walked off and Craig stared down at me. “I’ll watch him with both eyes like a hawk.”
“Hawks are gorgeous creatures, sir.”
“You are gorgeous.” He slowly leaned down and then shook his head, pulling away. “I’m sorry. That—I’m—wow. Would you like a drink, Sage?”
“A drink would be lovely, sir,” I agreed as I slid off the couch. I about melted. My human was a sweetheart. How rare was that? He didn’t want to move too fast just because I was a slave or a whore.
I could fix that. I only had limited time with him and he had no reason to not dive in.
“Craig, Craig Ross,” he muttered, glancing at me. “Call me Craig if no one’s around. I hate that sir shit. I know it’s the rules, but if no one else is around, please don’t call me that.”
“You don’t believe slaves are possessions then?” I hedged, accepting the drink he’d ordered me when it was ready.
“No, of course I do,” he answered firmly and my heart sank until his gaze darted towards the human bartender. “I simply don’t like being called sir as if I were my father.”
“Of course.” I nodded my understanding and sipped my drink, glancing around. “We have time before dinner and Mr. Morgan explained to you the rules of being around an ocelot. There’s no reason we can’t continue this conversation out on the balcony alone.”
He studied me a moment. “I don’t like being played or fake people, Sage.”
“Who’s playing?” I took his free hand and he was easily led after I threw him for a loop like that. Once we were outside and the door closed behind us, I snatched his drink from him, set both on the table, and hopped up on the ledge, pulling him back between my legs. “You see me as a person, don’t you? Not a slave.”
“Were you going to kiss me inside?”
“Yes, but I don’t ever kiss people who don’t want me—”
“If I gave you anymore green lights that I wanted you, Craig, I would have gotten naked and presented my ass to you in front of everyone in that room.”
His breath hitched but still he hesitated. “I have to ask. I’m sorry if it’s crass but—”
“You need to know I’m not a whore throwing himself at you to try and find a master,” I hedged, studying his eyes and seeing the worry there. Craig gave the slightest nod and I took pity on him. “You are the most attractive human I’ve ever seen. Bastard Bob pushes me towards one rich human or another to sample me for a sale, not caring where I end up as long as there’s money involved. This is the most freedom I’ve ever had to choose who touches me and then I saw you. I’m not wasting this opportunity or night, Craig.”
“Works for me,” he growled, grabbing my head and pulling me down to him. His mouth crashed into mine and he attacked my lips. I melted against him, more turned on from that kiss than all my encounters over the course of my long life combined. His hands moved to my ass and I mewled like a cat in heat wanting so much more. “Fuck, you are perfect.”
He leaned me over the stone balcony so I was looking out at the New York City skyline and pushed aside my slave grab, careful not to rip the silk. I smiled, thinking I was going to get fucked good but then almost fell off in shock when he licked my exposed cock.
“We should move you somewhere more steady,” he mumbled as his arm slid under my back.
“No, I love it up here,” I panted, spreading my legs wide and balancing my arms at my sides. “This is exhilarating. No one’s ever blown me before. It caught me off guard.”
“I always suck the cock of any man I want inside of and to be intimate with. Your being a shifter doesn’t change that.” He swallowed me down and lights flashed behind my eyes as I stared out at the city that had taken so much from me. His hands held down my hips to keep me balanced and the crazy, conflicting sensations and Craig’s mouth took me to heaven. I bit my lip to keep from screaming as I came down his throat seconds later, the best pleasure in my life ending too soon.
He pulled me back to sitting up and I kissed him as I quickly undid his pants. Then I slid off the stones, ignoring the chaffing on my naked ass and smiled up at him when I caught myself before landing hard on my knees.
“God, you’re agile and flexible,” he whispered as I fisted his cock. Fuck, he was a big, big boy.
“You have no idea, Craig,” I purred, licking the drops of precum taunting me. He moaned and ran his fingers over my hair. “My turn now.”
He stopped me before I could swallow him down. “Only if you want to.”
I blinked up at him and shivered with lust at the way he was looking at me as if I mattered, was special and even precious. “The only thing I want more than to please you on my knees is to have you find joy in my body all night until neither of us can walk, Craig.” A little spurt of precum hit my lips, and I smiled, knowing he liked the idea just as much.
Mr. Morgan came out in the middle of my worshipping Craig’s cock, and I was glad it was then and not the other way around because I didn’t know how much trouble Craig could have gotten into.
“There you guys are,” Mr. Morgan chuckled, glancing over Craig’s shoulder and watching the fun. “Pizza’s here, so don’t take all night. Not exactly how you’re really supposed to entertain at the dinner party but, um, sure. Just make sure you’re not caught alone and someone can imprint on you, Sage.”
“I’ll be watching him at the dinner,” Craig snapped, fisting his hand in my hair almost possessively.
“Oh, I’m sure you will be.” Mr. Morgan walked away and his laughter followed after him. I didn’t care… But I did speed things along. We didn’t want others noticing we were gone and causing issues.
“Fuck, yeah, Sage, oh fuck,” Craig moaned as he started gently thrusting down my throat. “I just want to grab all this gorgeous blond hair and go wild.” I moved his other hand to my head, giving him a clear signal he could. He growled and started pumping his hips as I relaxed my throat and let him take over. Normally I hated when the humans I was with got aggressive but with Craig it was different. He wasn’t trying to dominate or own me, he just wanted me that much he lost control.
I liked that.
He grunted as he came, his orgasm catching him off guard from the way his body spasmed. I fondled his sac and worked him through it, giving a naughty slurp as I pulled off him. His chest was heaving as he released his hold on my hair, and I slowly stood, righting his clothes and tucking his still hard cock in his pants.
“I want more of you.”
“Me too,” I swore to him as he cupped my cheek. But then I looked away, reality hitting me and remembering that meant he’d have to buy me. Fuck, I hated being a shifter in the world we lived in.
“Hey, none of that,” he murmured, turning my face back to his and kissing me gently. “I love your hair. Is this white/blond natural? Cecil’s is black. I thought all ocelots were—”
“We’re all different as we are in the wild. My eyes aren’t as exotic or pretty as his but my hair is rare.”
“I don’t like orange. Caramel is more my color,” Craig complimented as he stared into my eyes. I smiled at him, knowing he truly meant it. Then he slid his arm around my waist and led me back inside.
We tried to be subtle during dinner, slight touches, and stolen glances, but when the first shifter ended up on someone’s lap, I moved Craig’s arm and practically hopped up on his left thigh. He glanced at me a moment, but then smiled when I did. His hand slid under the silk of my slave garb, cupping my ass as he offered me his slice of pizza. I took a bite, licking my lips and moaning at the taste—all while he focused intently on me.
I discreetly snagged one of the little vials of olive oil for the breadsticks and slipped it into his other hand when it was free before leaning up and pressing my lips to his ear. “I think that stone balcony cut me somewhere private. You might want to use your fingers and check, maybe stretch a bit.”
“Are you really hurt?” He leaned back and I saw the worry in his eyes. God, this human was one of a kind. I felt my cheeks heat up and I shook my head. “Then I should check and make sure.”
I don’t know how he pulled it off without spilling it everywhere, but moments later, his olive oiled up fingers on his other hand circled my hole. Swallowing a moan, I kissed up his neck, whispering how it felt and what his touch did to me. That seemed to only spur him on because soon he had all the digits of his one hand in me.
Giving him a firm look, I adjusted the way I was sitting and pushed his hand away. He raised an eyebrow but discreetly withdrew his fingers and wiped off his hand. Then I changed my position again and let out a yowl.
“Sage, are you okay?” Mr. Morgan asked me as the conversation immediately died.
“Yes, sir, sorry,” I mumbled, hanging my head. “I sat up on your balcony because the view is wonderful but I wasn’t thinking. I believe I scratched or cut myself—um—maybe privately.”
“Why didn’t you say something?” Craig growled, playing along. He stood and lifted me in his arms, moving away from the table. “I’ll tend to him.”
“Shouldn’t you have—” Cecil started but I shot him a look. His eyes went wide for a fraction of a second but then he cleared his throat. “You should know the first-aid kit is in the second drawer of the master bathroom. That has the most space and privacy you’ll need.”
“Very thoughtful of you, my fine ocelot,” Mr. Morgan praised, shooting Cecil an adoring look. “Holler if you need anything.”
“Oh, we won’t,” I muttered under my breath now that we were far enough away. Craig shot me a look when we were alone in the hallway and I felt my face flush again. “I told you I don’t get opportunities like this to be with men I want. I’m not normally this dishonest or conniving. It’s not like I’m trying to steal the good silver. It just hit me as an excuse to get you alone so you can finish what you were starting.”
“Okay then.” He cleared his throat as he darted into the master bedroom and kicked the door closed before carrying me into the bathroom. “Because you’re really good at it.” He set me on the counter and captured one of my hands in each of his, pressing them against the mirror behind my head. “To be fair, I was thinking of a way to get you alone too. You’re just faster on your feet. I should be embarrassed. I am an attorney.”
“I guess that means you’re an honest one,” I offered before claiming his lips. We moaned together, and while I wanted to do nothing but kiss him all night, we didn’t have all that much time. I yanked my hand away and got his fly undone with only the one before moving my foot to the doorframe for balance and pushing his cock into me once I moved the damn silk out of the way.
“Tell me you want this as badly as I do.”
“Probably more,” I promised as he moved his hand to my ass and pulled me closer. “This might be my only chance to be with a man I want inside me.”
“I am so sorry the world treats you this way, Sage. I’m sorry my kind treats you like this, enslaves you and—” he choked out and then shook his head. I felt his dick start to deflate and knew he truly meant it.
“Show me how you want to treat me,” I whispered as I cupped his cheek and brushed my lips over his. He buried his face in my neck and thrust into me all the way. My teeth ached to bite him which was crazy. I was old enough to control myself better than this and it was never supposed to happen with a human.
One I barely knew.
Craig pounded into my body, and I used the leverage of our hands on the mirror to lift my hips to meet his, driving him faster and harder.
The whole time he chanted, “Oh god, Sage. Jesus, Sage, never felt this. You’re perfect,” over and over again in different variations until I was floating on a bubble of lust and fantasy like never before. I cried out as I came the first time, not even having noticed the signs I’d been so distracted. “That’s it, come my oce-little.”
I pressed my lips against his ear and moaned as I felt my cum spurt all over my stomach. Normally I hated being picked on for my short, five-six frame, but from him, I recognized the term of endearment. Craig made sure I finished once more before finding his release inside me. Just as we were finishing, we heard a noise in the other room. Faster than his eyes could track, I moved off him, slid from the counter and swallowed him down to make it look as if that was what we’d been doing.
There was a tap at the door and Craig opened the door.
“Really? Again?” Mr. Morgan chuckled as I pulled off Craig’s spent cock.
“I wanted to thank him, sir,” I purred. “Your kind friend found a piece of gravel on my butt that cut me and the skin was healing over. That was what hurt so bad. I was entertaining your guest after all and you did say he was to be trusted.”
“Would you say no to an offer like that?” Craig drawled, gesturing down at me.
“Yes, but I don’t think Cecil likes the idea of sharing me with other shifters,” Mr. Morgan muttered, rubbing the back of his neck. “The test run is over and the shifters are going soon so just get back out there before Brothel Bob gets here.”
“Yes, sir,” I agreed as Craig ground his teeth but nodded with a smile. Mr. Morgan closed the door, and I popped to my feet, staring at Craig with an open mouth.
He did a double take when he saw how I was looking at him. “What?” he asked as he reached for a towel and cleaned up before sitting me back on the counter.
“You’re upset,” I hedged, studying him as he wiped his cum and mine off me. I bemoaned the loss of his scent on me. “I don’t know why though. You want me again?”
“Yes, but that’s not why. I don’t like the idea of you going back to that place,” he practically spat out. There was an easy solution to that in my mind but Craig was morally against buying slaves. Any fool could see that. And while I appreciated that and his convictions we were people… The alternative was to let someone else buy me.
And who did that really help?
I hated saying goodbye to him after we rejoined the party, barely giving him a look before hurrying out the door after Bastard Bob. I wanted to change Craig’s mind, but more likely than not it was a money thing too. He was Mr. Morgan’s friend but that didn’t mean he had Mr. Morgan’s money, and as an ocelot, I was really fucking expensive.
I knew my price tag and very few people were willing to pay it no matter how fantastic my ass was.
* * * *
The night of the dinner came and I almost fell over when Cecil slipped and called his master Neil. Could his human believe as Craig did? And as I watched Cecil showered with presents and affection, my heart twisted, hoping for a second that maybe, just maybe Mr. Morgan was good enough friends to buy me for Craig if money was truly an issue.
But how did I even try to bring that up and not offend someone I barely knew?
Everyone else lined up at the bar at Cecil’s command and I guess I did, but more hiding behind it. Cecil paused in his greeting of their first guest, grabbing the Russian man’s drink and hissing at me. “What’s wrong with you? Do you want to miss out on parties like this?”
“Get your shit together then, Sage, and don’t—” he snapped his mouth shut when a low growl passed my lips, eyes going wide.
“We may be slaves among the humans and at your master’s house but do not forget where you rank among our food chain, kitten,” I warned, baring my teeth ever so slightly. “I was thrown for a second. Don’t you dare talk down to me about how to act. You were snatched up and loved moments after you barely became of age. You have no idea what true horrors this life is for the rest of us.”
“I’m sorry. You’re right,” he muttered under his breath so the humans wouldn’t hear us. I felt the tension from the other cats in the room who could though. “I’ve never seen you like this before. I overreacted. I was counting on you to be the example to the others. My master is going to a lot of trouble, risking a lot to help us maybe find better homes and lives. I’m scared for him and worried because it was my idea. I apologize, Sage.”
He was right and I tilted my head, acknowledging that for the others to see. “As do I. I never wanted to be bought but now I’m not so sure. I found one of my possibles and I never thought it could be a human.” Cecil took the Russian’s drink from the bartender as his heart rate picked up. “What do you know, Cecil?”
“My master was one of mine,” he breathed to me so even the other shifters couldn’t hear. “That’s why I broke Bastard Bob’s rules and approached him at the ball. I could smell something off in the room and it was like catnip. I couldn’t control my lust and then, next thing I was doing, I was jumping him practically. Then my teeth ached and they still do sometimes. I don’t know if the legends were wrong or if the ones who knew the truth died when we were enslaved, but our possibles can be human, Sage.”
He took the drink and walked off just as I felt Craig walk into the room. I saw him before he did me and there were two other men with him, apologizing to Mr. Morgan. I turned to the bartender and ordered what I knew he liked best, scotch on the rocks, and by the time it was poured, he was at my side.
“You look parched,” I greeted as I handed him the drink.
“I am.” He tossed it back and set the empty on the portable bar before leaning over as his hand found its way to my lower back. “I have not stopped thinking about you, Sage. It’s been driving me crazy. I’m in court imagining your lips around my cock again. In meetings, visions of me buried in your sweet body.”
“There’s only one cure for that,” I purred as I moved my hand between us.
He glanced around and since I was basically hidden behind him, he started backing me up to the corner of the room. “What’s that?”
“More of what you crave.” I rubbed his hard-on, and he spun me around, pushing me up against one of the pillars holding up the ceiling of the massive living room in this penthouse. Mr. Morgan silenced everyone for an announcement of some sort but we didn’t hear him, we didn’t care.
We were too busy making out away from prying eyes. Then somehow when cocktails started back up, we were in a closet with his cock up me. I loved it. The passion Craig showed me, even the danger and forbiddenness of it all. We made our appearance at dinner, teasing each other the whole time, and personally I was annoyed I had to stay in my own seat.
One way or another we were both able to sneak off again and meet up in the master bathroom where Craig took me to heaven once more. Mr. Morgan seemed to be distracted and so was Bastard Bob because Jasmine was being sold so Craig found me one last time and I was glad it was dark in the study because tears fell down my cheeks as he took me, thinking that was our last time.
“I will see you again,” he swore to me when the party was wrapping up, grazing his fingers along my cheek. I bobbed my head, not even able to look at him. That sounded like a promise lovers who knew they could never be together made because they couldn’t face reality. He kissed my hand, and like a fool, I held it to my chest as the slaves walked out of the apartment.
I was so stupid, knowing better than to give more than my body to a human ever but I’d gone and done it anyway—I’d given my heart.
“Was that Craig Ross that I saw you entertaining tonight?” Bastard Bob hissed at me, grabbing my arm before I could get in the van off the loading docks with the others.
“Why didn’t you call me over?” he seethed. I glanced up at him with a questioning look. “Why didn’t you seal the deal, Sage?”
“I don’t understand, sir,” I hedged, waiting for him to fill in the blanks.
“Craig Ross, you idiot. As in the Craig Ross.”
“Dude, you didn’t know you were making out with the biggest fish there?” Lev asked with wide eyes. I shook my head slightly, glancing between them. “Even I know this and we know I’m not in the loop. He’s Craig Ross, like Ross and Associates, that huge ass law firm that takes partners and senior partners, but never name partners because no one can hold a candle to the clients that guy has. He comes from old money and started that firm up all on his own. It’s like some monster giant and the kicker is he only takes good cases.”
“He could buy me?” I whispered, staring up at the penthouse as if it mattered somehow now.
“He could buy everyone at the brothels in several states and not make dent in his fortune,” Lev drawled and hopped in the van.
“Next time you tell me when someone is that interested you in,” Bastard Bob snarled before practically shoving me up into the vehicle. “Fucking idiots, I swear you’ll all be the death of me.”
As much as I hoped that statement would be true one day, I felt my heart shatter as we drove away and the building I’d met Craig at and shared so much with him at became nothing more than a memory.