Exposed by Fate (Serve #2)

Exposed by Fate (Serve #2) by Tessa Bailey

Chapter One

New York City’s Most Eligible Bachelor was in a piss-poor mood.

Not that anyone would ever guess it from the way Oliver Preston smiled down at the dark-haired girl dancing seductively in front of him. At least, he thought she was going for seductive. She dipped down low, then rose with a twisting hip swivel, which could very well be an attempt to dislodge a wedgie. Her name had vanished along with his last three drinks, and it was fast approaching the point in their acquaintance when it would be rude to ask. With a discreet glance at his watch, he realized they’d been dancing and talking for an hour, although he couldn’t recall a single word. Something about Gwyneth Paltrow’s blog?

He’d been doing this more and more lately, forgetting the social dictates that had been drilled into him his entire life. Discarding names the moment they were uttered, neglecting to respond with a laugh at the appropriate moment. He’d once been the king of grinning and bullshitting. Maybe he still was, but he’d gone on autopilot. No enjoyment came from it any more.

Oliver could pinpoint the exact day it happened. When that damn magazine had determined him a catch, under the headline, “Manhattan’s Mesmerizing Magazine Guru”. The article had been the equivalent of a meal bell being rung over his unsuspecting head. Women had stopped wanting to have fun with him. They’d stopped being satisfied with a single night or even a week-long affair.

Now they wanted to land him. They wanted the elegant wedding announcement in the New York Times. They wanted to weld a gold band onto his finger while cackling with merriment. They wanted to…Jesus…they wanted to introduce him to their mothers.

Matrimony. If it was possible to have a phobia of saying I do, he had a giant case of it. Matrimonaphobia. There, he’d diagnosed himself.

Not that he didn’t believe in the institution of marriage. His parents had been happy enough. Some of his friends even pulled it off to varying degrees of success. The thought of doing it himself? He’d rather choose punishment in the form of a never-ending wedgie.

That reminded him. What the hell was this girl’s name? Jill…Whitney…Wendy? Wedgie.


Wendy, Queen of the Wedgie.

I’m going to Hell.

Wendy spun in a slow circle, gyrating quite impressively, but he found himself more concerned with the disintegrating contents of his rocks glass than her impressive figure, leading him back to his earlier thoughts. Maybe the eligible bachelor announcement hadn’t been where his loss of interest in the world of endless women and partying had started. Maybe it had been waning long before then, and he’d simply fallen into an inescapable pattern. Party, seduce, repeat. A certain behavior was expected of him and he lived up to it.

Had his identity become his curse?

Oliver had one thing keeping him grounded. Work. He’d taken the passion he usually reserved for the opposite sex and thrown it into the financial magazine his family had owned for decades. His father had built it from the ground up, but just last month, Oliver had been required to save it from bankruptcy. As a result, he now shared the helm with his sister, Caroline, producing the country’s first lifestyle magazine for those with alternative lifestyles. Combining finance and travel with, well, bondage techniques and gift ideas for your favorite Dominant.

He tossed back the remains of his drink, smiling absently when WW took that as a sign she should move closer, backing up until her bottom met his lap and wiggling her hips. Oliver’s body responded as it always did, but there was no urgency. No driving need to get this girl alone and rip off every last piece of her clothing. He hadn’t felt that in a damn long while, though, had he?

His new, regrettable marriageable status combined with the feeling he was missing something had led him here over the summer. To Serve. A BDSM club located in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District, owned by his formerly straight-laced sister’s boyfriend, Jonah. A fact he still couldn’t believe a month later.

Before coming to Serve, he had already been dominant in the bedroom, hoping maybe taking it to the next level would alleviate some of the monotony he’d been experiencing. It had. Briefly. After a while, that same old feeling had begun creeping in. He’d stopped enjoying himself in degrees, oftentimes coming to Serve, only to leave after his first drink. His conquests had all started looking and sounding the same, blurring together in a way that made him feel guilty. As if he were taking advantage in some way, saying all the right words without meaning them. Like now.

Wendy threw her arms up in the air and rotated her hips in a slow circle. Her eyes held a challenge, all but shouting, not bad, huh? Oliver saluted her with his empty glass. “That dress is criminal, sweetheart.” Blah blah blah. “Maybe we need to put you in lock up.” Let’s go upstairs and get this over with so I can go home and watch Survivorman.

“Thank you,” Wendy purred, smoothing her hands down the front of her dress. “It’s all thanks to this macrobiotic diet I’ve been doing. Gwyneth does it. She practically invented it. No carbs, no coffee, no alcohol—”

Good God, she dances like this sober? “Whatever you’re doing,” he wound her hair around his fist and pulled her up against him. “Don’t stop.”

Wendy sucked in a breath. “Let me take a quick trip to the ladies room, then we can go upstairs.” She turned with a little shimmy, then glanced back over her shoulder. “I’m feeling bad.”

Tessa Bailey's Books