Vadim: Control Preview

Chapter 1

Note: The following copyrighted preview is unedited and subject to change.

When delving into the world of sexual promiscuity, it’s totally okay to have one glass of wine beforehand, just to calm your nerves. Two is fine too. Okay, three—but there’s a benefit to every sip of alcohol far beyond the use as a mental crutch. 

Or so I tell myself. 

For one, I’ll be nice and loose for whatever billionaire I manage to snag on my first night on the prowl. Depending on how well it goes, I’ll be closer to scratching the big-ticket item off my bucket list—joining a secretive, exclusive sex club. Through that act alone, I’ll be giving my ex-husband the ultimate kiss-off, while indulging in years of repressed sexuality to boot. 

Win, win. 

Telling myself that makes it easier to down my fourth glass as I scan the offerings milling about the exclusive “Gray Bar” of Hotel Six—the most exclusive venue within ten miles of the area’s major airport. It’s a forty-floor haven for millionaire businessmen with too much money to spend and not enough time to look for a relationship lasting beyond a few hours. In theory, it should be a sexual revolution mecca. 

In reality, it’s slim pickings tonight, go figure. The one night of the week I finally managed to gather up the nerve to assemble an outfit that—in the right lighting—makes me look like I almost belong here. Enough that I was able to slip past the stern-faced bouncer before he could do a doubletake. 

Though, maybe I should have tried my skills on him first? The old guy could have been a nice warm-up for my rather lacking talent of seduction. Frowning, I do the math on my fingers. Six months since my divorce from Jim. Three years since we last had sex. Minus the odd dildo every now and again, I haven’t been laid in…

Too damn long. Sighing, I let my fingers fall to the table before me and tap the polished wood with my hot pink nails. A normal person would try online dating, or maybe troll the grocery store for some horny single dad with a fetish for one-night stands to ease her way back into the dating pool. A normal person. 

I, however, decided to skip the queue and jump into the big, wide world with a bang. Literally. Why feign interest in a long-term relationship or play the roulette game with STDs when you can aim right for the jackpot—exclusive billionaire sex clubs like the kind my uncle Conroy used to gossip about after one too many brandies. 

The billionaire part is beside the point. Three big ones, actually—safety—both physically and health-wise—privacy and most importantly…kink. Weird, crazy kink. Enough to drown out say, seven or so years of a lifeless marriage and boring, missionary sex so lame that a nun wouldn’t consider participating as breaking her vows. 

Yes, Tiffy, I tell myself. You’re on a roll. A horrible, fruitless roll. 

An hour in and I have yet to be approached by one of the three men occupying the lounge in addition to me. It must be the slow hour for rich bachelors.

One potential prospect sits at the bar, his back to me. A curtain of dark hair obscures most of his face, but he’s scrawny. Too scrawny. Next. 

Sighing, I shift my attention to another potential victim. Aged approximately seventy years, with a beautiful head of balding gray hair, he’s only a moderately more appealing candidate. I bet rich older men have plenty of experience to draw from, though. Viagra can be a heck of a drug—and hell, to make their trysts last, those over sixty probably extend the foreplay too. 

Bonus points. 

Not that I would know how to recognize extended foreplay if it slapped me in the face. Jim thought oral sex was sinful—unless on the rare occasion he had two beers, it wasn’t Sunday, and I was the one willing to open my mouth. 

Stop it. I shake my head to clear away the negative thoughts. No more dwelling on the past. I’m the new and improved Tiffany Connors. No longer bitter about years of youth wasted. No longer hating on my prudish ex-husband. No longer sexually repressed. 

So very sexually repressed.

I crane my neck to the corner of the room where the third and last potential victim sits thrumming through a magazine. The fact that it’s Vogue, paired with his impeccably tailored suit, sends my gaydar pinging hard. Strike three.

After yet another sip of wine for courage, I cycle back to bachelor number one, the guy at the bar. He’s not my type but what’s the harm in trying? Glass in hand, I leave my booth and approach him, praying to God I don’t trip in these heels. It’s the first time I’ve worn anything but neat, respectable flats in nearly a decade—yet another example of jumping headfirst into my new carefree life. 

Forcing my lips into a friendly grin, I sidle up to my target. “Hello,” I purr huskily—or at least I try to. “I’m Tiff.” 

He inclines his head toward me, and my eyelids flutter in shock. I’m so caught off guard; I nearly let my sexy rouse slip in favor of gaping at him. 

He’s pretty. Freakishly so. An angelic nose anchors his delicately crafted features—like a masculine but beautiful doll. Pale skin conforms to his high cheekbones and strong jaw. Jesus almighty, I’ve never seen a sexier jaw. Eyes so dark I feel the need to strike a match take me in with little reaction, and my brain runs wild trying to decipher them. Is he bored? Surprised that I’ve approached him?

A half-empty glass of whiskey sits in front of him and nothing else—a testament to the brooding businessman stereotype. 

Score.

“Gorgoshev,” he says in a voice so rich my tongue dampens, my throat contracting. He has an accent I can’t place. Russian, given the name? No. Something more musical. French? I’m too distracted to put much effort into narrowing it down as he extends his hand toward me. 

And it’s as beautiful and slim as the rest of him. My nails look garish against his porcelain skin, and I’m ten times more self-conscious. Way to make a first impression. If he already doesn’t think I’m a dumb bimbo, I’m halfway there. 

“Do…do you come here often?” I ask, flicking my hair over my shoulder. I must flick too hard because one of my hoop earrings smacks off my chin, and I nearly slip from my stool. 

A cool hand catches my wrist before I can lose my balance completely, anchoring me in place. 

“T-Thank you,” I stammer, smoothing my fingers over my skirt. He moved so fast. Already he’s back to nursing his whiskey as if he never budged at all. “I’ve probably had way too much wine.” 

I groan internally. The fact that I acknowledge drinking at all is a sign I’ve definitely had too much wine. Surprisingly, Mr. Pretty doesn’t seem to mind my sloppiness.

My heart races the more I watch him, and I dare to hope this could be working. He’s handsome enough, and yes, he may be freakishly thin, but I can work with it. Jim—no, not thinking about him. My ex, has the body of a college linebacker five years beyond his prime, so I’m not picky. 

Smiling wider, I try to engage the non-cheating, non-asshole person before me in conversation. Say something smart, Tiff. “Is Gorgoshev your first or last name?” I wonder. 

Kill me.

“Last,” he says, either oblivious to the stupidity of the question or he must get it a lot. “I’m not inclined to give out my first name to strangers.” A playful smirk shapes his mouth, softening the rejection hidden within his words. Touché.

“I’m Tiffany Connors,” I blurt. It could be the wine talking, but something about him makes me curious enough to extend the conversation, all embarrassment aside. “Age twenty-eight. I like long walks on the beach. I can assure you that I’m not a serial killer—”

“And I’m sure you carry quite the reputation in finance to commandeer a private booth in such an establishment,” he says over me. 

I clam up as my cheeks catch fire. Smart man—too smart, it seems. “I…I…” 

“Relax.” He cocks his head back and takes a small sip from his drink. “You’re the first woman under fifty to come in here alone—” He meets my gaze directly, and my heart lurches. “Pardon me for being curious.” 

“Oh, yeah…” I flick my tongue along my lower lip, weighing the benefits of further engagement. He seems nice, but his lack of ogling my tits or trying to feel me up leaves me puzzled. Navigating the dating world beyond high school is a brand-new experience for me. Are we in good territory? Bad? Should I cut my losses and move on to an easier mark like the bald guy across the room? 

Decisions. Decisions. 

Jutting my chin, I decide on the spot to cut the bullshit and go for the balls. “Maybe I’m not a financier,” I confess, eyeing him through my lashes. “Maybe I’m interested in something a lot more fun than comparing business ventures. What do you say? I’ll show you mine if you show me yours.” 

A part of me cringes inside—the good, God-fearing part of me that wishes I was wearing a cute sweater instead of a dress that exploits my cleavage to hell and back. After two years, it’s still hard to shake the old girl. 

But as Mr. Gorgoshev’s eyes flicker from my face down to my collar, I suddenly can’t hear anything but the hard swallow contorting my throat. Good girl Tiffy can put a sock in it. 

“Vadim,” he says. “First name.”

“Vadim,” I parrot, playing with the syllables. I probably sound more tipsy than sexy, but a thrill runs through me anyway. I swear his eyes narrow slightly. So I say it again.

“Are you alright?” he wonders, a black eyebrow raised. 

“Huh?” 

“Your voice. It sounds strange.” Frowning, he takes another sip of his whiskey while I pray I might sink through the floor and die. Just when the mortification becomes unbearable, he flashes one of those disarming grins. “If I didn’t know better… I’d think you were coming on to me, Ms. Connors.” 

A teensy bit of my panic gives way to an excited flutter in my belly. “And if I am?” 

He seems to mull it over, his dark eyes gleaming. “Then I would have to say…” With undeniable interest, his gaze flits over me a second time and my heart lurches. “How much?” 

When delving into the world of sexual promiscuity, it’s totally okay to have one glass of wine beforehand, just to calm your nerves. Two is fine too. Okay, three—but there’s a benefit to every sip of alcohol far beyond the use as a mental crutch.

Or so I tell myself.

For one, I’ll be nice and loose for whatever billionaire I manage to snag on my first night on the prowl. Depending on how well it goes, I’ll be closer to scratching the big-ticket item off my bucket list—joining a secretive, exclusive sex club.

Telling myself that makes it easier to down my fourth glass as I scan the offerings milling about the exclusive “Gray Bar” of Hotel Six—the most exclusive venue within ten miles of the area’s major airport. It’s a forty-floor haven for millionaire businessmen with too much money to spend and not enough time to look for a relationship lasting beyond a few hours. In theory, it should be a sexual revolution mecca.

In reality, it’s slim pickings tonight, go figure. The one night of the week I finally managed to gather up the nerve to pick out an outfit that—in the right lighting—makes me look like I almost belong here. Enough that I was able to slip past the stern-faced bouncer before he could do a doubletake.

Though, maybe I should have tried my skills on him first? The old guy could have been a nice warm-up for my rather lacking talent of seduction. Frowning, I do the math on my fingers. Six months since my divorce from Jim. Three years since we last had sex. Minus the odd dildo every now and again, I haven’t been laid in…

Too damn long. Sighing, I let my fingers fall to the table before me and tap the polished wood with my hot pink nails. A normal person would try online dating, or maybe troll the grocery store for some horny single dad with a fetish for one-night stands to ease her way back into the dating pool. A normal person.

I, however, decided to skip the queue and jump into the big, wide world with a bang. Literally. Why feign interest in a long-term relationship or play the roulette game with STDs when you can aim right for the jackpot—exclusive billionaire sex clubs like the kind my uncle Conroy used to gossip about after one too many brandies.

The billionaire part is beside the point. Three big ones, actually—safety—both physically and health-wise—privacy and most importantly…kink. Weird, crazy kink. Enough to drown out say, seven or so years of a lifeless marriage and boring, missionary sex so lame that a nun wouldn’t consider participating as breaking her vows.

Yes, Tiffy, I tell myself. You’re on a roll. A horrible, fruitless roll.

An hour in and I have yet to be approached by one of the three men occupying the lounge in addition to me. It must be the slow hour for rich bachelors.

One potential prospect sits at the bar, his back to me. A curtain of dark hair obscures most of his face, but he’s scrawny. Too scrawny. Next.

Sighing, I shift my attention to another potential victim. Aged approximately seventy years, with a beautiful head of balding gray hair, he’s only a moderately more appealing candidate. I bet rich older men have plenty of experience to draw from, though. Viagra can be a heck of a drug—and hell, to make their trysts last, those over sixty probably extend the foreplay too.

Bonus points.

Not that I would know how to recognize extended foreplay if it slapped me in the face. Jim thought oral sex was sinful—unless on the rare occasion he had two beers, it wasn’t Sunday, and I was the one willing to open my mouth.

Stop it. I shake my head to clear away the negative thoughts—no more dwelling on the past. I’m the new and improved Tiffany Connors. No longer bitter about years of youth wasted. No longer hating on my prudish ex-husband. No longer sexually repressed.

So very sexually repressed.

I crane my neck to the corner of the room where the third and last potential victim sits thrumming through a magazine. The fact that it’s Vogue, paired with his impeccably tailored suit, sends my gaydar pinging hard. Strike three.

After yet another sip of wine for courage, I cycle back to bachelor number one, the guy at the bar. He’s not my type, but what’s the harm in trying? Glass in hand, I leave my booth and approach him, praying to God I don’t trip in these heels. It’s the first time I’ve worn anything but neat, respectable flats in nearly a decade—yet another example of jumping headfirst into my new carefree life.

Forcing my lips into a friendly grin, I sidle up to my target. “Hello,” I purr huskily—or at least I try to. “I’m Tiff.”

He inclines his head toward me, and my eyelids flutter in shock. I’m so caught off guard; I nearly let my sexy rouse slip in favor of gaping at him.

He’s pretty. Freakishly so. An angelic nose anchors his delicately crafted features—like a masculine but beautiful doll. Pale skin conforms to his high cheekbones and strong jaw. Jesus almighty, I’ve never seen a sexier jaw. Eyes so dark I feel the need to strike a match take me in with little reaction, and my brain runs wild trying to decipher them. Is he bored? Surprised that I’ve approached him?

A half-empty glass of whiskey sits in front of him and nothing else—a testament to the brooding businessman stereotype.

Score.

“Gorgoshev,” he says in a voice so rich my tongue dampens, my throat contracting. He has an accent I can’t place. Russian, given the name? No. Something more musical. French? I’m too distracted to put much effort into narrowing it down as he extends his hand toward me.

And it’s as beautiful and slim as the rest of him. My nails look garish against his porcelain skin, and I’m ten times more self-conscious. Way to make a first impression. If he already doesn’t think I’m a dumb bimbo, I’m halfway there.

“Do…do you come here often?” I ask, flicking my hair over my shoulder. I must flick too hard because one of my hoop earrings smacks off my chin, and I nearly slip from my stool.

A cool hand catches my wrist before I can lose my balance completely, anchoring me in place.

“T-Thank you,” I stammer, smoothing my fingers over my skirt. He moved so fast. Already he’s back to nursing his whiskey as if he never budged at all. “I’ve probably had way too much wine.”

I groan internally. The fact that I acknowledge drinking at all is a sign I’ve definitely had too much wine. Surprisingly, Mr. Pretty doesn’t seem to mind my sloppiness.

My heart races the more I watch him, and I dare to hope this could be working. He’s handsome enough, and yes, he may be freakishly thin, but I can work with it. Jim—no, not thinking about him. My ex, has the body of a college linebacker five years beyond his prime, so I’m not picky.

Smiling wider, I try to engage the non-cheating, non-asshole person before me in conversation. Something smart, Tiff. “Is Gorgoshev your first or last name?” I wonder.

Kill me.

“Last,” he says, either oblivious to the stupidity of the question or he must get it a lot. “I’m not inclined to give out my first name to strangers.” A playful smirk shapes his mouth, softening the rejection hidden within his words. Touché.

“I’m Tiffany Connors,” I blurt. It could be the wine talking, but something about him makes me curious enough to extend the conversation, all embarrassment aside. “Age twenty-eight. I like long walks on the beach. I can assure you that I’m not a serial killer—”

“And I’m sure you carry quite the reputation in finance to commandeer a private booth in such an establishment,” he says over me.

I clam up as my cheeks catch fire. Smart man—too smart, it seems. “I…I…”

“Relax.” He cocks his head back and takes a small sip from his drink. “You’re the first woman under fifty to come in here alone—” He meets my gaze directly, and my heart lurches. “Pardon me for being curious.”

“Oh, yeah…” I flick my tongue along my lower lip, weighing the benefits of further engagement. He seems nice, but his lack of ogling my tits or trying to feel me up leaves me puzzled. Navigating the dating world beyond high school is a brand-new experience for me. Are we in good territory? Bad? Should I cut my losses and move on to an easier mark like the bald guy across the room?

Decisions. Decisions.

Jutting my chin, I decide on the spot to cut the bullshit and go for the balls. “Maybe I’m not a financier,” I confess, eyeing him through my lashes. “Maybe I’m interested in something a lot more fun than comparing business ventures. What do you say? I’ll show you mine if you show me yours.”

A part of me cringes inside—the good, God-fearing part of me that wishes I was wearing a cute sweater instead of a dress that exploits by cleavage to hell and back. After two years, it’s still hard to shake the old girl.

But as Mr. Gorgoshev’s eyes flicker from my face down to my collar, I suddenly can’t hear anything but the hard swallow contorting my throat. Good girl Tiffy can put a sock in it.

“Vadim,” he says. “First name.”

“Vadim,” I parrot, playing with the syllables. I probably sound more tipsy than sexy, but a thrill runs through me anyway. I swear his eyes narrow slightly. So I say it again.

“Are you alright?” he wonders, a black eyebrow raised.

“Huh?”

“Your voice. It sounds strange.” Frowning, he takes another sip of his whiskey while I pray I might sink through the floor and die. Just when the mortification becomes unbearable, he flashes one of those disarming grins. “If I didn’t know better… I’d think you were coming on to me, Ms. Connors.”

A teensy bit of my panic gives way to an excited flutter in my belly. “And if I am?”

He seems to mull it over, his dark eyes gleaming. “Then I would have to say…” With undeniable interest, his gaze flits over me a second time and my heart lurches. “How much?” 

Brother of the fiercest crime lord in Fair Haven, Vadim Gorgoshev has survived horrors most men couldn’t imagine in their nightmares—and he’s learned to thrive in the chaos. 

But the master of control meets his match when a fiery redhead crosses his path. 

Will the obsessive Vadim maintain the upper hand or will the reckless Tiffany turn his world upside down?

Control is the first book in a new trilogy in the Club XXX world. Vadim’s trilogy can be enjoyed without first reading Maxim’s trilogy or read as a continuation to Maxim’s series.