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  • E.M. Shue

Identity's Kiss



Chapter 1

2 Years Ago

London, UK

Kathryn


The cab pulls up outside the hotel and I hesitate for a moment.

"Ma'am?" the cabby asks.

I snap out of my funk and pay him as I step onto the curb.

I look around to see if any paparazzi has followed me. I don't normally do this unless I have to, but I’m restless and need to shake this jet lag from my body. My long flight from New York and then the darn cocktail party I had to attend have me wanting to pace. I hate going out in public. I’d rather be in a gym riding a cycle to


work off this nervous energy, or anything else other than going to a bar. I don't want to disturb my sister at her condo, though. Tomorrow is a big day for her; she’ll be the swan in the ballet Swan Lake for the British Royal Ballet. As a soloist dancer she is even closer to her dream of being a prima ballerina.

I walk into the hotel and make my way to the bar without looking at the other patrons. My head held high, nose in the air, just like my mother taught me. I don't want to be recognized but it's ridiculous as it happens everywhere, especially with the latest magazine spread. I keep my eyes focused on my destination. I just want a couple drinks to take care of the edge.

I slip my jacket off, revealing my black cocktail dress with open back and long sleeves. My high heels are gold, along with my clutch. My hair is in waves around my face and down my back. I flip my hair over my shoulder as I take a seat and lay my jacket across my lap. I'm just about to order when the scent of a woodsy cologne wafts across my senses. The expensive cologne is one I've smelled before and like, but on this man it has a completely different effect. A musky spice blends with it setting my senses on fire. My body wanting something other than a drink.

"A beautiful woman like you shouldn't be drinking alone." His voice is husky and American.

I turn and pause, the air in my lungs seizes. He's beautiful. His dark blond hair is closely cropped to his head in a simple short cut with the front slightly pushed back. He has a bit of a five o'clock shadow. His mesmerizing blue eyes look like an electrical fire, the blue sizzling to a brighter almost cornflower. I want to stare into his eyes and find all the shades.

He cocks his head to the side and I realize I was staring. This can't happen, though, not with being who I am.



"Good line, but I'm okay by myself." I turn to wait for the bartender to come my way.

"Then I'll just have to move from my comfy corner booth to sit with you." His voice is filled with darkness, calling to parts of my body that want to be dominated.

"It's your choice." I lift my chin. I'm used to turning men down. They all want to live the fantasy of being with me.

I feel him walk away and part of me wants him to be more aggressive, to push me to accept. To be the man my soul has called to for years. The me I hide from the world. I push that feeling down because I can't let anyone know the real me.

"What can I get you, ma'am?" the bartender says in his thick English accent.

Before I can order, I see movement from the corner of my eye and to turn to find the man is back. He sets his tumbler of amber liquid on the bar and pulls the stool out next to me. He opens his jacket as he takes a seat. His scent wafts over me again. He's in a black tailored suit with a red and gold tie, his black vest is buttoned and the tie peeks out the bottom. He is walking sex on a stick and I want him.

"You don't take no for an answer?" I quip, trying to push down the feelings.

"No, I don't. Let's just say I'm protecting you from all the other men waiting in line to take their turn to get shot down. It could hurt their feelings. Me, I'm tougher stock than them. You don't want to hurt them, do you?" He waves his hand to the surrounding bar.

I turn to look, and sure enough, I've drawn all their attention, even the men with women. The women are giving me the evil eye. Another thing I'm used to. Yep, welcome to my life. I can't go anywhere without causing a stir.

I notice someone pull out their cell phone and hold it up to take a picture. I cringe and move to flee. His hand goes to my arm. I turn to look at him.

"Beauty, slip off your stool and grab your things. I got you." He stands, blocking my view of the camera, thus blocking their view of me too.



Can I trust him, or will he use my fame for his own attention? He's blocking the person from taking my picture. He's being a gentleman by helping me.

I rise and cradle my jacket over my arm as I slip my clutch into the pocket of it. He leads me to a back corner booth, his hand on my open back. My pulse races, my spine tingles. My skin burns where he's touching me, and my sex softens. I want this man. He's checking all the boxes on my checklist of what I want. He's dominant and confident. His hand is warm. His presence is soothing my soul, calling to that part of me I don't ever let come out and play. It's been so long since I've been with someone. I've never trusted any of my previous partners with this part of me. With this part of my body.

I slide into the booth expecting him to go to the other side. Instead, he slips in right next to me. I scoot over more trying to put distance between him and my rioting hormones. He moves again, closer, but this time his hand grasps my thigh and holds me in place. My body obeys. His control and dominance are in everything he does. Every movement and word.

"I'm Tony." His voice is like velvet sliding across my skin. His thumb rubs across my thigh where my dress has slid up. He raises his brow and I don't need him to ask, I know what he wants. My eyes drop.

"Kat." I sigh.

"What do you want, kitten?" he demands.

I want to say, "You, right here, right now." My pulse is beating so fast I'm sure he can hear my heart.

"Kitten?" He demands again, this time with an edge to his voice.

"Vodka cranberry with lime?" It wasn't meant to be a question, but he's messing with my control. I still haven't raised my eyes.



"Top shelf vodka. And another Blue Label," he says, and I raise my eyes to see the bartender followed us.

I drop my eyes again. His voice is commanding as he gives our order. There’s a bit of huskiness to it that causes my core to spasm.

When we are alone again, he turns, his body blocking the view of the rest of the room. His hand leaves my thigh and comes to my chin, where he raises my face to look at him.

"Eyes." That's all he has to say, and I look a


t him. "Kitten, your body is telling me everything you need. I got you. Promise."

I give into my inner submissive and let him lead me. Something I've craved for so long.


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