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Three Guilty Pleasures (The Blindfold Club #6)
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I didn’t expect to fall off the stage and land in the powerful arms of this gorgeous man.
He’s a brutal warrior on the rugby field and a delicate artist with the cello, and the combination is irresistible. His music seduces. It inspires my dancing and demands my surrender.
I gave up on my dream once, and I’ll need his help to resume the chase.
And when we take the stage together, I’m willing to give him everything. My submission. The dark secret I’ve been keeping. Even my tenuous heart.
But will he want any of it once he knows the truth?
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This club looked like nothing.
So much so, I stood on the cracked sidewalk and double-checked the address on the screen of my phone, confirming I was in the right place.
The elusive blindfold club catered to wealthy clients who had deep pockets and a taste for kink. And the operating front for the illegal brothel was supposedly a high-class, members-only wine club. But the nondescript building before me looked like it contained neither of those.
It didn’t look like it was in use at all.
I’d been expecting an elegant storefront. For months I’d searched for this place, and once I tracked it down, my speculation went wild. How deep did the wine club charade go? Was it like the movies with an elaborate set-up? Where I’d come in, pluck a certain bottle from a case, and trigger a secret passageway which led to the real club?
The black building had a single door with a diamond-shaped window and no awning overhead. There weren’t signs, just the brass street numbers tacked to the side. I stared up at it with a weird sense of disappointment and understanding. It was unremarkable. Exactly what you’d want in this part of Chicago, especially if you were running an illegal operation. It was a place that wouldn’t get a second look.
It was a Friday night and the spring weather was decent, but the street was empty. There weren’t any bars or restaurants within blocks of this establishment. Just warehouses and stores that were closed. I gripped the doorknob and half expected it not to turn.
I stepped into the room, which wasn’t much bigger than a closet. Or perhaps it felt that way because I was big and took up a lot of space, and the security guy sitting on the stool was even bigger than I was.
He stood and gave me a polite smile, one that seemed rehearsed, as he sized me up. His shoulders pulled back as his posture straightened, making him look bigger still. He wanted me to know he thought he could take me if the situation called for it.
He was underestimating me, though. I was a forward for the Lions, Chicago’s semi-professional rugby team, and I was the best prop they’d had in years. I was the perfect combination of big, fast, and reckless.
His gaze noted my suit, and there was a subtle nod. I’d gotten a call from the club owner earlier this week and was told the club rules were “dress to impress.”
The security guy was dressed in all black, and his fitted t-shirt was stretched so tight over his muscle-bound chest, it looked like the seams would rip apart if he sneezed. He wore a low-profile communication earpiece that I only noticed because he looked down at the leather-bound portfolio in his hand.
“Name?” he said.
“Webber,” I lied.
He scanned the list, shut the portfolio with a snap, and pressed a finger to his ear. “Mr. Green has arrived.”
My expression must have been confusion because he shrugged.
“You’re a new client.” He said it like that should have been obvious.
I was green with newness, but I also felt that way with unease. I’d bent the truth before to get what I needed for a story, but I’d never truly gone undercover. No amount of research could be done to know how the people here would react if they found out I wasn’t who I said I was. How likely was it this place was involved with the mob?
I was reckless but usually not stupid. That was how badly I wanted to break this story—I was willing to put everything on the line.
The next door was similar to the first, except the window was replaced with a diamond-shaped logo. The security guard motioned to it. “Julius will meet you at the bar.”
A soft buzz rang out as the lock deactivated, beckoning me inside. I pushed the door open and stepped into the next room.
It kept with the theme of not being what I expected. The room was set up like a fancy lounge. Plush couches to the left and a bar to the right, complete with a bartender. Two-thirds of the rails behind him held bottles of wine. Maybe the tall, slender guy behind the bar was actually a sommelier.
“Good evening, sir,” the man said. He placed his hands on the bar and leaned subtly forward. “Would you care for something to drink?”
My mouth was parched, but alcohol seemed like a bad idea. I needed to stay sharp and remember every detail I could. “No, thanks.”
“You sure? It’s complimentary.”
What the hell, I was thirsty. “Water?”
If it was a strange request, the bartender didn’t show it. “Of course.”
As he grabbed a glass and filled it with ice, the door at the back of the room swung open. The man who came in was built just like me. Tall, wide with broad shoulders. His suit, which was probably custom, fit much better than mine and subtly announced he was a wall of muscle. His head was shaved smooth, and his dark skin gleamed.