Novel Name : Checklist J, K, L

Chapter 2


Davina rocked up on her toes and then back on her heels. She didn’t like standing still—didn’t like
being still—so she’d developed a habit of doing small, simple exercises like calf lifts whenever she was
forced to wait.

Outside of Las Palmas, no one made her wait.

If she’d thought Grif was doing it on purpose, she’d be beyond annoyed, but she knew him, and this
wasn’t some stupid waiting game. This was him trying to find the toys—well, jewelry—they’d need for
this challenge.

Usually they planned scenes together, taking inspiration from others at the club or images they’d come
across. Theirs was the perfect BDSM relationship, built on a foundation of friendship. She liked that
she’d met him when she’d been more into topping than subbing, because it meant he saw her as an
equal.

If she’d said that aloud, she was sure Grif, and most of the other male Doms, Masters, and Owners at
the club would say they viewed, and treated, their subs as equal. But the relationship she and Grif had
—more collaborative, physical, and intense than so many others, reinforced her secretly held belief that
meeting on equal footing had been the foundation for what they now had.

Restless, she switched from calf lifts to pacing. She was in the barn, which was properly called the
“Conclave” for reasons that were unclear to her. It was obviously a barn—even now that there weren’t
animals housed here, there were horse stalls along one of the long walls. These stalls were for D/s play
and had cots, plenty of tie points, and clean, smooth floors.

The roof of the stalls was the floor of the loft, which had a lounge-like viewing area where she and Grif
had listened to the announcement about the game. The barn also had a tack room with a wonderful
array of crops, whips, and various tie-off equipment. There was even some pony play gear, though
she’d never seen anyone use it.



She smirked as she realized that would change because of the game. Whoever had the letter “P” was
certainly in for an interesting weekend.

She and Grif preferred the barn for their play, because there was plenty of floor space on the side
opposite the stalls, and because there were custom-built wood and metal grids, almost like the rigging
used in theater lighting, that could be lowered at the push of a button, making it easy to tie a bound or
harnessed submissive securely to the framework. Another touch of a button and the frame would be
lifted, the motor powerful enough to raise and suspend a restrained sub.

In preparation for their play, Davina had spread out several large floor mats and double checked that
the controls for their preferred five-by-five metal lattice suspension rig were working.

When she got tired of pacing, she dropped onto the mats and started working through Ashtanga yoga
poses, holding each for five quick breaths and then transitioning to the next.

She was doing a headstand when Grif walked in. She smiled from her upside down position. Her tank
top was tight enough that while the hem slid, it hadn’t fallen down around her neck, but caught on her
breasts, leaving her midsection bare from the top of her hip-hugging skirt to chest.

He paused for a moment—a flattering hitch in his step—before he kept coming, his gaze intent on her.
“I could watch that all day.”

Davina bent at the hips, bringing both legs forward until they were parallel with the floor and then rolled
gracefully out of the pose. She primly pulled down the hem of her tank top, which made Grif smile.

Damn, he was handsome. And funny, kind, sexy, and unapologetically rough in all the right ways.

His hair was just stylish enough to make her occasionally wonder who he was in the outside world.
Medium brown, short on the sides with a tight fade up to the longer top, which he brushed straight back
from his forehead. His eyebrows were a shade or two lighter than his hair, but he had long, dark lashes



that framed his brown eyes. He had hundreds of light brown freckles on the tops of his muscled
shoulders—an unexpectedly boyish touch on a man who was otherwise intensely masculine.

Whatever he did, he kept in shape. And spent just enough time shirtless in the sun—not hard to do in
Southern California—to freckle, but not tan.

And that was more wondering about him than she should have been doing.

“Did you find anything?” she asked. He was empty-handed.

Grif patted his pockets. “I did. Lots of stuff.”

“Lots…” She raised a brow. There were tiny bulges in his pockets now that he’d pointed it out.

“It’s jewelry. It’s not supposed to be big.”

“That depends on what kind of jewelry.”

He gave her an odd look, head tipped to the side, then relaxed into a smile. “Well, first we need some
chairs.”

“Chairs?”

“Yep.” He looked around. “I’ll go find them if you put away the mats.”

“No mats?” Now it was her turn to frown.

“No mats,” he confirmed. “If you thrash around, you’re going to break this stuff.” Grif pointed to his
pocket. “No thrashing, which means no mats.”

When he walked away, Davina started folding up the mats, dragging them to the storage area. Grif
returned carrying two ladder-backed wooden chairs. He set them down and looked at her, mouth open



as if he were about to speak, but then he stopped, brows coming together, before saying “Davina, are
you okay?”

“Of course, why?”

“You’re frowning.”

“Oh.” She forced her face to relax. It was only when he’d pointed it out that she realized she was…
worried.

That didn’t make any sense. There was nothing to be worried about. It was just Grif and some jewelry.
Not a bullwhip.

He peered at her for a moment longer, then took a square cushion from under his arm and put it on the
seat of one of the chairs.

“For you,” he gestured gallantly.

Davina walked over, making sure her hips swayed as she did, and started to sit.

“Ah ah ah, kneel,” Grif said.

“Mmm, promising.” Davina knelt on the cushion. The back of the chair stopped just under the level of
her breasts. It was too tall for her to bend forward to a good ninety degree angle, but kneeling like this
would give Grif better access to her ass and pussy than if she’d been sitting.

“Hands on the back of the chair.” He spoke with the relaxed confidence he always had during a scene.

The upper rung of the chair back was smooth and cool under her fingers—real wood, sanded and
polished, not varnished.



“Time for—ah wait. Okay, hold on, maybe I shouldn’t have shoved these all in my pocket—they got
tangled.”

Davina didn’t try to hide her chuckle as she twisted to look behind herself. Grif was on one knee, a web
of silver chains spread out on the seat of the second chair as he tried to pick apart the items.

“Want some help?”

“Face forward,” he grumped. “Stay in your position.” The words might have been punishing from
someone else, but Grif didn’t mean them that way. They weren’t a “high protocol, don’t move”, sort of
couple.

Couple. Wrong word. Partners. They were partners.

“Ahem, I didn’t move my hands, or knees.” She straightened to face forward.

“True, but now I’m ordering you to—got it!”

She heard the slight hiss of his jeans against the concrete as he rose. He was barefoot, which meant
his footsteps were silent, leaving her guessing as to where he was.

They’d done plenty of scenes with her blindfolded or otherwise unable to move her head enough to
look around. At this moment she should be calm, if not precisely relaxed.

Why did she still feel worried? No, maybe it wasn’t worried but anxious.

Had she gotten so used to how they normally played, what they normally did, that even a slight change
in routine made her stomach knot?

His fingertips on her bare upper arm startled her, made her jerk to the side so hard that she lost her
balance and had to put one foot on the floor. Grif’s arms came around her waist at the same time she



caught herself, and she knew he wouldn’t have let her fall.

“Davina?”

His muscled arms felt good. His right forearm was just under her breasts, and when he’d grabbed her,
the fabric of her tank top shifted, the mesh catching on the ends of her nipple bars and tugging gently.
A lance of arousal, painfully acute, like a red-hot needle, made her breath catch, her fingers tighten on
the wood.

“I’m fine,” she murmured.

His lips brushed her ear. “You’re more than fine, minx.”

The worry that had made her react so dramatically to an innocuous touch faded. She arched back,
much like she had at the bar, arms stretched out and holding the chair, shoulders falling back. She
tipped her head back, until it touched his chest. “Oops, I’m not facing forward anymore.”

He released her waist and ran a finger down the front of her neck from the underside of her chin all the
way down to the notch in her collarbones. “I’ll give you one minute to get back into position.”

“Or what?”

“Are you trying to force a punishment?” There was real surprise in his voice.

Davina cringed internally and straightened up, both knees back on the chair pad. She forced out a little
laugh. “Just trying to speed this up. See what jewelry you might have.”

“I’m going to show you, but don’t forget how we’re playing this. You’re subbing.”

“I know how to sub,” she snapped.



She felt rather than saw him lean in, his words brushing her ear. “I want you to be yourself, not pretend
to be some bratty thing.”

He probably meant the words to be comforting, but they weren’t. Instead, they fed the anxiety building
within her. He’d been right, she had been trying to force a punishment, which was a classic topping
from the bottom ploy. She didn’t need to do stupid things like that, because she and Grif talked about
what they wanted and needed each time they played.

Maybe that was the source of this worry—she hadn’t helped plan the scene.

Maybe she was worried because he’d made it clear this wouldn’t be as physical as their normal play,
and she was so very bad at being still.

Much to her secret relief, he came around to her front. She made sure her position was perfect and
smiled at him. “I’ll be good.”

She winked as she said it, and he smiled before snorting derisively. Then his amused expression
melted away to reveal something more intense and focused. It was the expression he got when he was
checking and double-checking ropes right before he pulled her into the air.

She shivered with anticipation.

Grif held up his hand. A delicate silver chain was laced around his fingers. “Here’s your first piece of
jewelry.”

* * *

He lay the chain across his palm then held his hand out, so she could see the intricate details of the
piece he selected to use on her.



Even thinking those words sent a little thrill through her. There was something wonderful yet terrifying
about not knowing even the simplest information about what would take place in the scene. If she didn’t
plan the scene with him, she usually knew what equipment they’d be using, based on the space they’d
booked to use in advance.

Wonderful yet terrifying.

She took a moment to study his face, his familiar face, that at once was so familiar, and yet she would
have sworn there was something different in the way he was looking at her now, something about the
set of his shoulders.

When she couldn’t put a name to what she saw in his face, she looked down at his hand.

A necklace. The center was a delicate, flat horizontal bar, less than a quarter inch tall, but two inches
long. It curved ever so slightly to match the contour of the neck. Strands of silver chain with links so
small and precise they looked almost like metallic thread extended from the ends, two on each side.

The center of the bar had a small O ring bolted to it, about the diameter of the tip of her pinky finger.

“A collar,” she breathed.

“A jewelry collar,” he agreed. He smiled, and it was slow and full of promise and darkness. “Grab your
braid. Hold it out of my way.”

Davina lifted her right hand and reached back for her hair, lifting it away from her neck. She held it on
the top of her head, making sure to keep her shoulders relaxed so her neck was long and ready to take
the collar.

He made sure the bar was centered above the notch of her collarbones, then draped the chains over
her shoulder. “Hold this with your other hand,” he murmured.



She placed one fingertip against the bar, keeping it in place as he slipped around behind her. She
couldn’t help but explore it with her fingers. The ring in the front was functional, attached in such a way
that it rotated. Cheaply made collars often were attached with a stationary mount.

Grif tugged the ends of the necklace. “Let go.”

Those words made her shiver, because it was clear he wanted her to let go of more than just the
jewelry she was holding in place.

She grabbed the back of the chair, steadying herself, but his next action made her shiver again.

Grif adjusted the collar, pulling it up and then tight against her skin. She felt his fingers moving at the
back of her neck, the chain pulled almost alarmingly taut as he worked the clasp. Then the chains
relaxed a bit, and the next thing she knew he was standing in front of her.

Though she’d called it a collar, it looked like a necklace, and she’d expected it to fit like a necklace, but
it didn’t. It fit like a choker—snug against her neck rather than draped around her neck but actually
resting on her shoulders and chest.

It wasn’t so tight that it was choking her, but every time she swallowed she felt the restriction.

Grif examined her neck, checking the fit by sliding a finger underneath. “How does it feel?”

“Unfamiliar,” she said honestly. Though chokers came in and out of fashion, she hadn’t worn one like
this before—made of metal rather than stretchy fabric or plastic.

Grif’s gaze was hot, and the front of his jeans was bulging from his erection. Her blood heated knowing
that collaring her made him hard. She’d worn a collar for him before—a heavy all-metal collar that was
very physical and intense, like they were.



Had putting that collar on her ever made him this hard? Surely it had, and she just hadn’t noticed
before.

This jewelry collar was less kinky than what he’d used before. It was so delicate and beautiful that if the
O ring were removed, it could be worn as a piece of lovely jewelry with no kinky connotation.

Or leave the O ring on, and still wear it as jewelry in the outside world—a delicate statement as to who,
and what, the wearer was.

Without a word, Grif held up another necklace. No, it was too long to be called a necklace—it would
have fallen to her hips. It consisted of short four inch runs of the same thread-like chain as in the collar
and thumbnail size silver rings. He took one end and threaded the delicate lobster clasp through the O
ring of the collar, which was just big enough for it to fit through, then fastened the clasp to the first of the
larger silver rings, creating a loop that passed through the O ring.

“A leash,” she whispered.

“Not quite.” Grif’s voice was rough with arousal.

He was turned on. Really, really turned on. Davina shifted her hips side to side, weight shifting from
knee to knee, humming a little to herself. Seeing him that turned on, aroused her in turn. Her sex was
wet. As she shifted she could feel it—that slick physical proof of her need.

He let the tail of the long chain dangle down her front for a moment. She wished she were naked so
she could feel it against her skin. Though the mesh tank top revealed more than it concealed, it was
enough to keep her from feeling the delicate chain.

She was still wearing her shirt.



Davina opened her mouth to say something—to remind him that it might be better to get her shirt off
now rather than having to unfasten the chain from the collar, remove the shirt, and then refasten it. That
was the kind of detail Grif sometimes didn’t think through. More than once he’d ended up cutting off
clothes that he’d neglected to remove before getting her into a rope harness.

In the past, she wouldn’t have hesitated to say something, or even to just strip off the shirt and throw it
to the side—doing her part to make sure the scene went smoothly and that their pleasure wasn’t
interrupted by logistics.

And yet she didn’t say anything.

This time was…different. The collar, the chain, they were delicate and precise. This wasn’t their
customary maroon nylon rope.

Grif adjusted himself, visibly relaxing when he got that massive, hard dick into a more comfortable
position inside his jeans.

Maroon nylon rope had never made him so hard he had to stop and adjust his pants.

Grif picked up the dangling end of the chain, his knuckles grazing her left nipple. She sucked in air as
that accidental touch lit up all her nerves.

A sense of deja vu gripped her. This intensity, so seemingly out of proportion with the limited physical
stimulation, was what it had felt like the first time she’d let a boy slide his hand up under her shirt—
thrilling, terrifying, wonderful, and foreign all at once.

Her reaction was disproportionate to the stimulation.

But it wasn’t just her. He was reacting very strongly, too. As evidenced by his cock.



She wanted to laugh and say something to break the tension—Wow! This whole jewelry thing is
actually pretty sexy, right? Nice cock, why don’t you take off the pants, pull my hair, and fuck me. We’ll
play with the rest of the jewelry later.

The words were there, but the collar was pressing delicately against the front of her throat and she
remained mute.

He looped the other end of the chain around the top rung of the chair back, between her hands. He
wrapped it around and around until he’d used up the remaining length. He then secured it by attaching
the clasp through one of the rings interspersed along the chain.

When he was done, she was tethered to the chair, with enough slack so she could still shift around, but
she couldn’t lean back more than six inches before it went taut.

He circled around to the chair where he’d left his stash, and she let her lids slide closed. The world was
a little fuzzy, a little soft, but at the same time she was aware of every inch of her skin.

This is dangerous. Don’t drown in these feelings and forget why you need to stay in control.

This time she didn’t jump when he put his hands on her shoulders. She kept her eyes shut when he slid
his hands down her arms to her wrists.

“Watch,” he murmured.

Her eyelids felt heavy, but she obeyed. He was standing before her, one lock of hair fallen forward over
his forehead, bisecting one eyebrow. For some reason that made him seem more dangerous. A pirate.
A villain. A man who would not just top her, but master her. Control her.

He dangled a matching pair of bracelets in front of her face. They were made of half a dozen metal
panels connected by narrow bands of metal mesh. Each of the panels was embossed with the image of



a stylized female form in one of the classic submissive postures. The ones she could see were
kneeling up, standing presentation, kneeling down, all fours.

Cuffs.

Like the collar-necklace, they could be mistaken for jewelry if not for the D rings attached to the flat
clasps. He slipped them on and fastened them, making sure the D rings were on the back of her wrists,
easily accessible.

Once the cuffs were on, he cupped her hands, placing her palms on the back of the chair with tender
care. She felt as if she were delicate and fragile, something to be treasured and mastered with
precision and sadistic skill, rather than lustily tied up and spanked.

Grif went to the wall and lowered the metal lattice. The sound of the motor echoed against the walls,
seeming painfully loud in the silence. Though they were playing in a huge space, the air felt close, as if
there was too little oxygen.

Grif came back, carrying another of those long chains. He’d lowered the lattice to the point he had to
duck slightly to walk under it without banging his head.

He slid the end of the chain through the D ring on her right cuff, secured it, then looped the other end of
the chain through the lattice.

She forced herself to breathe as he fastened the chain to her left cuff.

“Arms up,” he said quietly. “Rest your wrists on your head.”

Another familiar order that felt so different.

She propped her wrists one atop the other on the crown of her head. With the lattice lowered to the
point it was only a foot above her head, there was plenty of slack. The chain coming from her left wrist



fell across her forehead and cheek. It obscured her vision and when she blinked, her lashes brushed
against the metal.

She was so distracted by the odd sensation that Grif took her by surprise when he cupped her head,
thumbs in front of her ears, and kissed her.

His mouth pressed against hers so hard that her lips were jammed against her teeth. His tongue delved
in, commanding and consuming her. When she didn’t kiss him back passionately enough, he pressed
his fingertips against her scalp, urging her without words to do…something.

Davina was captured, held. Her head in his hands, his collar around her neck. She wanted to lean into
him, push against him and take the fight to him so to speak—slide her tongue into his mouth, nip his lip
—but she didn’t have the leverage; all she could do was accept, so she sucked his tongue before
sliding hers against it.

Grif groaned and then bit her bottom lip, hard enough to give her that much-needed zing of pain.

Then he was gone, backing away from her so suddenly that she swayed, the chain from her collar
going taut for a moment before she centered her weight. The sides of her head and neck felt cold after
the warmth of his hands.

The lattice above her started to rise. She’d been so overcome by the aftermath of that kiss that she
hadn’t heard the motor whirr to life. Her wrists were still stacked on the crown of her head, and it was
several breaths before the chain that had fallen across her face was pulled away. A few more breaths
and the chain went taut, her wrists starting to rise.

He stopped when her wrists were suspended just above the top of her head. This left her elbows bent
comfortably, shoulders more or less relaxed.



“Those aren’t padded suspension cuffs,” Grif said. “You will tell me if they start to hurt and I can help
you adjust your position.”

“I know how to adjust to keep myself comfortable,” Davina said.

Grif gave her a strange look. “I didn’t ask you to adjust your own posture. I’m ordering you to tell me if
your wrists start to hurt from the cuffs.”

Davina’s spine went stiff; her shoulders tensed. “Fine.”

Grif took a half step back and shook his head. “I’m taking this too far. I’m sorry. We should stop.”

He was taking it too far. He was being too… different. Normally this level of intensity was reserved for
the end of a scene, when the barriers were stripped, and they were two beings of raw need.

They’d barely started and he was expecting her to be silent and still and quiet and submissive and that
wasn’t who she was…anymore. She was confident and sexual and assertive.

Yet she didn’t agree with Grif’s statement that they should stop. Didn’t laugh or shrug it off to lighten the
tension.

She couldn’t, because this wasn’t just about her.

Grif looked disappointed, or defeated. He’d half turned so she couldn’t see his whole face, but the set
of his shoulders told her what she needed to know.

Putting this particular collar on her had aroused him faster than any other time they’d scened together.

That kiss…

It had been more than just passionate. It had been raw and possessive. She wanted to feel that from
him again. She wanted him to kiss her like that. Wanted to know what it would feel like if he fucked her



the way he’d just kissed her.

That’s a dangerous thing to want.

“I don’t want you to stop.” Those words felt ripped out of her, yanked from some place deep within
where private truths were kept. “I’ll tell you if the cuffs hurt,” she said quickly. “I’m okay.” She rattled the
chains.

His shoulders relaxed, the bunched muscles under his freckled skin smoothing out. Then he
straightened—head coming up first, shoulders pulling back until he stood tall, like a soldier at attention.

Then he turned to her, and he wasn’t a soldier, but a warrior king—unapologetically dominant and
arrogant.

“Then it’s time to strip you and add more jewelry.”


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