Irresistible Bond: Central Florida Stories


Irresistible Bond

Safety is an illusion when the past never quite lets go…

Storm Canales has adored her two best friends, cousins Marcus and Barrington Laurier, since childhood. They’re adults now, and one steamy night tempts all three to the edge of mutual desire. But she doesn’t belong in their world—a fact the haughty Laurier family makes abundantly clear. Hounded by ugly words like “commoner” and “gold digger”, Storm disappears into the secretive DEA without saying goodbye.

Her dream job turns into a nightmare when a mission to bring down Colombian drug lords goes desperately wrong.

For four years, Marcus and Barrington reluctantly gave Storm her space, cut family ties, and built a life at Club Nexus. When they get word Storm is home, they’re determined to finally claim the woman they love—and give her the safest place to heal her scarred body and mind. The arms of the Doms who love her.

But the horrors of the jungle have never quite let Storm go. And when evil reaches out like a clinging vine to drag her back into the nightmare, it could destroy her for good.

Adults Only: Irresistible Bond is a standalone romance in the Central Florida Stories/Club Nexus universe. Contains explicit D/s/D dynamics, with brief mentions of past imprisonment.

Culbreath Isles, South Tampa, Florida

Marcus made his way through the crowded second story salon of the Laurier’s mansion. He pushed through the beautiful people, and those desperate to climb the social ladder. The air redolent of intoxicating designer perfumes followed him on his way to the terrace, the best place to watch the fireworks display set to begin in about ten minutes.

The salon’s French doors, usually closed to keep out the Florida heat, opened to the cool December night. As he stood by the doorway, glancing out at the barge anchored near the shoreline, a solicitous attendant appeared at his side offering a tray full of champagne glasses.

“Once again, good ole dad has outdone himself,” Marcus grumbled at the attendant. Breaking his no-alcohol-during-family-gatherings rule, he snatched a flute. “I suppose the chances of getting a club soda around here are pretty remote.”

“Sir…I, ah. I could…try.” The attendant stumbled over his words.

“Nah.” Marcus waved him off. “That was a rhetorical question. I don’t expect you’ll find any.”

“Why are you torturing the poor man?”

Holding the flute to his lips, Marcus closed his eyes and breathed in, instantly fighting for control.


The smoky voice and light jasmine fragrance, so uniquely hers, swept around him like a seductive caress.

I’m so fucked.

When would he ever learn? According to her latest text, she’d been running behind and wouldn’t arrive at the party for another hour. Now she’d caught him with his defenses not only lowered, but nonexistent. That was Storm’s thing. She loved to startle and surprise everyone. When they were growing up together, that prank was her trademark, and he, of all people, should’ve been better prepared for her mischief.

Marcus steeled himself as he turned to face the object of his every wish and fantasy: Storm Canales, the woman who owned his heart.

All his effort to control his reaction to her, didn’t work. The beauty smiling at him elicited an immediate and deep-seated ache in his chest.

Hooking his left thumb into the pocket of his dress slacks, allowed him to lower his right arm. The move kept his traitorous fingers, out of her direct view. Storm noticed details. Her keen eye would catch right away the quiver in his hands.

Marcus knew little about women’s fashions, but her all-lace burgundy gown, with off-the-shoulder sleeves and a low neckline, which barely covered the swell of her breasts, accentuated her curves and enticed a man to touch. The color enhanced her golden skin. A natural tone many women would kill for and spent hours in tanning salons to get, as he’d overheard his mother’s friends whisper and bitch about. Her elegant style showed up all the others in the room with their trendiest gowns, boasting the gaudiest and most expensive jewelry money could buy.

Storm’s dark eyes flashed with an amused light. Casually, she tossed her lustrous brown with reddish highlights hair over her shoulder, and his lips tingled with the unfulfilled desire to kiss and taste her flawless skin.

Despite the urge to bring her close, crush her lips with his, and savor every bit of her mouth until she swooned in his arms, Marcus kept his distance.

He always had.

In the old days, he never laid a finger on her, even before he understood the odd impulse to hang out with his competitive, and mischievous feminine sidekick, to be close to her and listen to her speak. Touching her confused and fascinated him. On the rare occasion when he grazed her arm or wrist by accident, the contact burned him on the spot. Later as a sophisticated teenage beauty replaced his old hellion of a friend, the woman in the making inspired all his adolescent erotic fantasies. He’d lost count of the nights when Storm’s name on his lips brought him to climax.

“What happened to the hour delay?” He took a quick sip of his champagne, and dropped the arm out of view.

“Gosh, you look so handsome,” she exclaimed, eyes glinting with their usual mischief. Clearly unaffected by his fake detachment, she pressed her palms on his chest and kissed both his cheeks. Her bold movement demolished his senses as a fresh wave of her personal scent assaulted him.

“I’m terrible with time. You know how I am, Marky.” With a shrug, she wiped his cheeks clean of her lipstick and looked around the room. “By the way, I’d love one of those.” She pointed at his glass of champagne. “What does a girl have to do?”

“First of all, I told you to stop calling me Marky. Why do you insist?” he growled. “We’re not ten anymore.” He waved at a server. The man nodded in response and rushed over. “Secondly, you need to work on your punctuality. Keep up your tardiness, and the FBI will send you home before you start training.”

“It’s the DEA, not the FBI,” she corrected.

“Same difference. Can’t believe you signed up behind my back. I’m wounded.”

The attendant presented his tray. Marcus took one flute to pass it to her.

“But I love calling you Marky. The nickname takes me back to happy times. We were so carefree, remember? We had no idea the world was a hard, cruel place.” She frowned. “I didn’t sign up behind your back. You just weren’t paying attention to my studies.”

“Yeah, right. The ROTC pushed you.”

“No. You’re wrong. Drugs are destroying so many of us, young and old. I couldn’t continue to watch that disaster from the sidelines and do nothing but bitch about it. It’s why I applied to the DEA.”

Marcus wanted to argue with her as they often did way back then. He struggled to resist popping her balloon with his skepticism. He wanted to tell her the DEA was a drop in an ocean of illegal and dangerous drug traffic, but stopped short when his older cousin, Barrington, stepped out of the crowd.

Several women watched him walk through the crowd, appreciation of his sharp features, black hair, and athletic build evident in their gaze. Marcus didn’t have a vain bone in his body, but he had to admit his cousin was a handsome guy, and when people thought they were brothers, the comparison gave his ego a quiet boost.

“I knew I’d find you two here,” Barrington said. “It’s like the good old days. Our mental connection still works, guys.”

“Hah!” Storm exclaimed, then, moving to Barrington, she kissed him in the same effusive manner she’d kissed Marcus. “Barri, hi.” Laughing, she wiped the crimson lipstick marks she’d left on his cheeks. “This color doesn’t suit you.”

“Hello, princess.” Clasping her waist, Barrington pulled Storm against him. Erotic images from fantasies never explored surged in Marcus’s brain as Storm’s curvy form yielded under the taller muscular Barrington. The contrast of Storm, delicate and beautiful in her sexy burgundy dress, against Barrington’s black tie held Marcus spellbound. Nevertheless, the abrupt brash move with its blatant intimacy surprised Marcus. What the hell had gotten into Barrington? Like him, his cousin never took liberties with Storm.

Barrington seemed to have no intention of releasing her. His arm tight around her waist, he continued, “Call me Barri again, and I’ll put you over my knee and give you the spanking of your life.”

“Promises, promises.”

The happy giggle and her unusual delight at the word spanking sent a flurry of signals to Marcus.

What the fuck is going on? Storm is flirting. Openly. Marcus gave his cousin a questioning look. Barrington’s blue gaze sent back a silent confirmation.

First cousins, Barrington and Marcus were as close as brothers. They didn’t hide their youthful infatuation for Storm from each other, which later developed into full-fledged devotion. Instead of jealousy or typical male possessiveness, both cousins came to terms with their emotions and desire for the same amazing woman.

All three grew up attached at the hip, climbing trees together, skinning elbows and knees at the same time and playing identical games. They gave no allowances in their play because Storm was a girl. She gave as good as she got. When they couldn’t attend the same private schools because of economic constraints—Storm’s resources were modest compared to the rich Lauriers’—the trio spent countless after school hours discussing math theories and historical events together. They were three hearts and three minds in one identical and roomy soul.

Why not live and love the same way they grew up?

It was nothing new for Marcus and Barrington, both practicing Dominants, had shared women before and thoroughly enjoyed it. The concept of loving and living with Storm in one home made sense to them. Why should they conduct their lives any other way? If society disapproved, screw them all.

Hopes. Dreams. Desires. Not a whisper was revealed to Storm. Why overwhelm her with a truth she wasn’t ready to handle? They were crazy about her, but she might not be interested in either cousin—that way—never mind both. Revealing their feelings could alter the way she saw them, change the relationship, and even kill it. Neither cousin was willing to take the chance.

Storm wasn’t the only one kept in the dark about Marcus and Barrington’s secret emotions. Their parents, the dignified, respectable, and leading Laurier couples, didn’t have a clue. Marcus’s parents, Olivier and Agnes, and Barrington’s parents, Regis and Elaine, would be horrified and pitch a huge fit if they got wind of their offsprings’ proclivities and desires.

“Hey, cuz.” Frowning, Barrington pointed at Marcus’s champagne glass. “If there’s champagne, then scotch has to be somewhere nearby. Dear Uncle Olivier doesn’t spare expenses. Be right back.” Releasing Storm’s waist, he strode over to one of the servers, spoke a few words, and came back. “Done.” Barrington grinned.

With the matter of scotch whisky resolved, he focused his attention on Storm again. “Tell me, princess, is this also a farewell party for the three of us? Are you still going through with this wild DEA idea? When’s your ETD? You do realize you’re leaving our little trio one person short.”

“Don’t tease me, Barrington. I’m still going. My flight’s on Wednesday. Can’t back down now. You know how I feel about this. This is important. It’s been my dream.”

“How can any of us forget? Your obsession with police shows and law enforcement drove everyone nuts, including all our parents. Right, Marcus?”

“Absolutely,” Marcus replied. “Storm has a good heart. She feels compelled to give back to society and the country. Kinda idealistic, but it’s her thing.”

“Not to mention her love for excitement. Our feisty, brave Storm,” Barrington murmured, running his knuckle along her silky cheek.

Damn. His cousin was going out on a limb here.

Storm’s full, sensuous lips formed a tiny circle. Marcus flinched, thinking she might pull away or reject his cousin’s caress, but she didn’t move one inch.

What Marcus had never expected to see happened: Storm’s cheeks tinged with a soft blush, and she lowered her eyelashes. The submissive gesture was an irresistible siren call. His lifelong friend and secret crush wasn’t opposed to Barrington’s advances.

Why hadn’t Marcus noticed this before?

Did she have room for him in her heart?

His Dominant needed to know.

Right now.

Otherwise, he’d have to make his excuses and leave them alone.

Marcus had no choice, if he wanted to confirm there was an open spot for him, he had to act now. However, any polite etiquette had gone up in flames. Barrington’s overt behavior and her open response heated the space between them, and opened the way for Marcus. Taking his chance, he moved closer to her. Gently he rubbed the pad of his thumb back and forth against her lower lip, encouraging her to open her mouth.

The touch was erotic and intimate. Storm linked her dark eyes full of longing with his. Her delicate nostrils flared as her breath rushed through luscious parted lips, he’d dreamed of kissing night and day, and warmed the skin of his hand. The most obvious sign of pleasure and attraction, her enlarged pupils, sparked a fiery wave in Marcus. He wanted to laugh with excitement and happiness. She wanted him as well.

“Your scotch, sir.”

Fuck. The server’s timing couldn’t have been worse. Marcus dropped his hand, and the passionate expression on Storm’s face resolved into a polite mask.

“Damn, that was hot, you two,” Barrington murmured. Breathing hard, he took the glass and downed the whisky in one gulp. He returned the glass to the attendant’s tray. “Bring me another, please. We’ll be on the terrace. Make it a generous pour.” Holding Storm’s elbow, Barrington moved toward the doorway. “Why don’t we step outside? The show is about to begin and the air is cooler. Some corners are more private.”

Barrington took the lead and Storm wrapped her arm around Marcus’s arm. All three ambled in silence toward the far end of the terrace, where the shadows offered a quiet secluded location. Marcus gave a quick look at the couples scattered along the balcony, then returned his attention to the beauty standing between him and Barrington.

Awareness was a soft explosion, a quiet awakening. Years of repressed emotions and desire came to life between them. No one spoke. Barrington faced Storm, and Marcus stood so close behind her, the rise of her firm buttocks pressed lightly against his thighs. He steeled himself for her reaction to his nearness. If she resisted or stiffened, he would back away.

There was no rejection from Storm.

For years, they laughed at their silly jokes and carried on, always the best of friends. Caresses, kisses, or intimate touches had never been exchanged, suggested, or even hinted at. But tonight, they breached the old limits, and no one hesitated or retreated. Least of all Storm. Her surprising body language granted consent to both men. Inhibition was long gone.

His cousin took another step forward, effectively enclosing her between them. She dropped her arms to her sides, even the one holding the champagne flute, offering no resistance. Taking his cue from the sensual mood between them, Marcus clasped her shoulder.

Storm relaxed into his chest and dropped her head back. Marcus hissed between his teeth. Her warmth seeped into him like liquid fire, and her dizzying scent floated to his nostrils, stripping hesitation away one tiny bit at a time. He wondered who seduced whom.

“We were interrupted before, princess. When are you scheduled to leave?” Lifting her arm, Barrington kissed her palm and held it to his cheek. Storm exhaled, and her breathing became quick and erratic.

“I… I told you…Wednesday.”

It seemed so strange and illuminating to watch the feisty friend of his youth so accepting and subdued, so enrapt within the magical sensuality of this moment. So beautifully submissive…

“Must you go? So soon?” Barrington crooned. “We’ve always been together. How can you leave us this way?”

“I have…my orders.”

“Orders?” Barrington leaned closer to her. “Marcus and I will happily give you a different set of orders. I think you’d like those better.”

“Yes. I…would.”

As her chest heaved, her breasts brushed Barrington’s jacket. Marcus watched in a trance as his cousin’s fingertips boldly traced a soft mound, then brushed the erect nipple under her dress with the back of his hand. Storm accepted his caress with a soft whimper. Within their intimate space, the air thickened with need and made it difficult to breathe. Sexual need swirled around them, even though they were still fully dressed and no one had voiced a sensual word.

Afraid she might stumble, Marcus held her arm and clasped her waist, pressing her tightly against him. Following his instincts, he dropped a long kiss at the juncture of her neck and shoulder. Storm sighed and undulated just enough to stiffen his cock. Pleasure burst in his mind when he tasted her sweet and salty skin for the first time. Fantasy became reality. The fiery enchantment he knew as Storm Canales floated him within a heady cloud of arousal.

“Well, looky here, Auntie Elaine.”

The voice grated like fingernails dragging on a chalkboard.

Marcus glanced up. Storm stiffened away from him. Barrington growled under his breath, “What the fuck?”

“It’s Roddy,” Marcus grumbled. “Your cousin, not mine.”

“Just as I told you.” Roddy walked toward them, Elaine holding his arm, “We’d find them hiding in a corner. The gold-digging bitch has her hooks in them.”

Puny and thin, with stringy brown hair which never looked clean, and beady eyes of the same color, Roddy Winston took after some obscure side of Aunt Elaine’s family. Nasty by nature, he was Elaine’s sycophant, a gossip and troublemaker.

“Watch your language, cousin. Or I’ll do it for you,” Barrington barked. “Apologize to Storm. Now.”

Roddy’s eyes widened in fake innocence. “Why should I? It’s the truth. Right, Auntie? I’m only saying what everyone is thinking.”

“Hush up, Rodney.” Elaine glared at everyone. “Guests are watching.”

“Right. Shut the fuck up, Rodney.” Leaving his spot, Barrington stepped toward Rodney with threatening intent as Marcus moved in front of Storm. If further insults were hurled, he’d block them for her.

Elaine held out a hand. “Control yourself, Barri. I won’t tolerate a common display of anger or a tasteless fight in my presence.”

“Mother, he insulted Storm,” Barrington seethed.

“Did he?” Elaine raised an eyebrow. “Or did Rodney simply voice what’s in our minds?” She turned her attention to Storm. “It’s an invitation-only affair. How did you get past the gate?”

The sensual heat Marcus experienced moments ago froze as Elaine lips spewed cold, heartless venom. Behind him, Storm bristled.

“I hand-delivered her invitation,” Marcus growled.

“What the hell’s wrong with you, Mother?” Barrington retreated from his mother as if she’d slapped him in the face.

“Barrington, I forbid you to use that language or speak to me in that tone,” Elaine snarled. “Certainly not to defend a commoner and a harlot.”

“Aunt Elaine!” Marcus exclaimed.

“You’re right. I’m a commoner and proud of it.” Storm swept past him. “My father escaped Cuba with his parents after they were stripped of everything. Despite the obstacles, a language they didn’t speak, and living in a foreign country, the Canaleses built an honorable life out of nothing. More than I can say for you, a penniless woman who married into money. I know your story. Who’s the gold digger here?” She paused in front of Elaine. “No, Elaine, I don’t want or need your dirty money.”

“Hold up, Storm.” Marcus clasped her wrist. “Don’t listen to her. She’s a bitter old woman.”

Shaking herself loose, she held up her palms in a don’t touch me gesture. Barrington tried to hold her arm, but she’d moved it out of his reach.

“No.” She exhaled. “This is too much. I can’t ignore the insult to my father’s good name. Now I know what the Laurier family really thinks about me and my parents. All these years have been a kid’s game, a silly fantasy. Nothing but lies.”

Ignoring Elaine, Storm moved past her.

Moving quickly, Marcus stepped in front of her.

“Where are you going?”


“I’ll drive you.”

Storm gave him a sad smile. “No, Marky.” She touched his cheek, then dropped her hand. “Tonight, the fantasy had a chance to go somewhere new and exciting. Who knows the things we might’ve said and done? But we won’t ever find out. The dream’s dead. I drove here, and I’ll drive myself out.”

“Storm, please,” Barrington pleaded. “She doesn’t matter. It’s about us. Give us a chance.”

Shaking her head, Storm walked through the French doors, leaving a trace of jasmine scent in her wake.


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