Home > The Deep End (Honey #1)

The Deep End (Honey #1)
Author: Kristen Ashley

one

There Could Only Be One

AMÉLIE

Amélie sat in the semicircle booth at the back of the club, her lips to the rim of her champagne glass, her eyes to the bodies moving through the large space in front of her, her mind wondering when it had happened.

Seven years.

For seven years, as a day passed that she knew at the end of it she would be going to the club, she felt a mild but persistent anticipation.

This, as she’d make her preparations to go, she’d allow to build into excitement.

But right then, as Amélie took a sip of her drink, she observed the bodies shifting around her in the early throes of the game as if she were in a mall, seated on a bench, taking a break from shopping to sip coffee and regard the mundanity of human existence, which was curiously watchable at the same time it was unreservedly boring.

She put her drink down and continued to inspect the specimens on display.

This was not a difficult task. From the moment she’d sat down half an hour ago, they’d peacocked in front of her table, the males, definitely, and even some females.

She found this annoying. It smacked of desperation, something that most assuredly didn’t stir her—unless she was the one who painstakingly roused that emotion through hours of play.

As for the females, that caused deeper irritation.

She’d been a member of the club for seven years. In that time, she’d seen many come and many go.

Amélie had remained.

She was known.

Even if the member was new, they could (and should) talk to their equals.

If they did, they’d get more than an earful.

Further, they could go to the small room behind the luxuriously welcoming and highly secured foyer. A room that held the computer (a computer that was attached to no network, not even a modem, thus it couldn’t be hacked). A computer that would provide them the information they needed.

Of the many strict, absolutely unbreakable rules that one must sign upon membership being granted to the club known as the Bee’s Honey, keeping this information up to date was one of them.

This also wasn’t a difficult task.

If you were trained and experienced, a true member from skin to blood to bones to soul of the decadent world these fabulously appointed walls contained, none of the rules was a difficult task. They were as natural to you as the knowledge of how to pick up a fork. How to swallow a bite of food that had been chewed. Indeed, how to just chew.

Therefore, Amélie kept her information up to date, checking it on occasion out of respect for her culture as well as out of respect for Aryas, the club’s owner and her dear friend.

Although up to date, that information gave very little away. If she were to interact with one in any meaningful way, her superior class of membership would share the essential traits in their nature with their inferiors in far more personal ways than a profile on a computer.

However, the fact that she did not—ever—choose female toys was part of her profile.

This information was provided with the aim to focus the hunt, offering details to the prey of who might wish to flush them out.

That was the kind way Amélie chose to look at it.

The purpose was more integral to the world in which they lived.

You did not waste the time or attention of your superior. It was disrespectful and it was intolerable.

Amélie assumed the females continued to strut with the dim and useless hope that she’d feel moved to teach them a lesson.

She never was.

If they listened to their peers, they would know this too.

When a lesson needed to be learned, Amélie was very willing to teach it.

But she had a certain way she preferred to play. She was known for that. Well known for that.

Kinder.

Gentler.

Not exactly a stickler for the rules, though there were some she enjoyed enforcing.

It was simply that Amélie liked to play.

She had no interest in slaves.

No, she was searching for toys.

This being well known, it continued the vicious cycle of why the females’ maneuvers were so very irritating.

Or perhaps, she thought, taking another sip of her drink as she looked through a beautiful woman who had been a member for over a year (in other words, she should absolutely know better), the scene had become irritating.

In fact, the aimlessness with which the entirety of her life seemed to flow was irritating.

She felt her spine straighten as this thought broke through with naked honesty for the first time since the inklings of it started months ago (inklings that she’d denied).

A thought that shocked her.

But more, it dismayed her.

Regardless, sitting there experiencing those emotions, she could no longer deny the simple fact that that feeling had been creeping up for some time. And not just here at the Honey. Aryas owned seven exclusive clubs west of the Rockies. Amélie paid bundled membership, which meant she could go to any of them. As she traveled frequently, she availed herself of this.

And although she might find a toy to while away a few hours, as weeks turned to months and those months turned to more months, it was coming clear she was giving more than she was receiving. She was assuaging a need and not having her own needs assuaged.

No.

That wasn’t it.

She wasn’t finding what she needed.

In play or in life.

She licked her lips to hide discomfiture, something that was unusual for her, and looked down to her champagne glass, understanding with a strange sensation of a fist squeezing her heart, that wasn’t it either.

   
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