Home > Balancing it All (The Punishment Pit #4)

Balancing it All (The Punishment Pit #4)
Author: Livia Grant

Chapter One






Lukus was throwing the bread sticks into the oven to warm up when the cell phone in his pocket vibrated. He decided to let it roll to voicemail. There was only one person he wanted to talk to right now, and she was in the elevator on her way up to the loft.

I wonder if we’ll have time for a quickie before we eat.

They’d been damn near inseparable since meeting the weekend before, and yesterday his intense attraction to Tiffany had started to scare him after he’d realized he couldn’t make it through an hour without thinking about her. Scratch that. He couldn’t make it an hour without obsessing about her. He was a Dom; in control of anything and everything in his life. It had pissed him off that he couldn’t just turn off the need to see her—touch her—talk to her—fuck her.

As if he’d needed to prove he was stronger than her magnetic pull, he’d forced himself to stay away from her last night. His brain knew they needed the break from each other to catch their breath. It was at around 11 p.m., when he’d found himself in the elevator with car keys in hand to drive out to her place in the burbs, that the depth of his problem had hit him hard.

He’d managed to turn himself around and return to his loft, but he’d slept like shit, worried about her needing his comfort when the nightmares of that asshole, Jake, woke her. By 4 a.m. he had given up on sleep, deciding to get an early start on his day rather than lie in bed feeling like a fucking lovesick puppy.

Lukus’s phone vibrated again. “Dammit.” It was clear someone wanted to talk to him, and now. “This better be good.”

It was his club manager, Ethan, calling. “We have a problem.”

“Funny. That’s why I hired you. To take care of the problems.”

“I think you’re gonna want to handle this one yourself.”

“I doubt it. Find Derek. He should be back soon from parking Tiff’s car.”

“I don’t think this can wait,” Ethan said.

“Is the place on fire? If not, it can wait.”

“Robinson is here.”

“Fuck. Well, it was bound to happen at some point. His suspension is up. He’s cleared to return to the club.”

“That’s not the only problem.”

Lukus opened the oven to check on the lasagna and bread sticks. Deciding to leave them in for a minute longer, he continued, “Spit it out, will ya? This cryptic shit is driving me nuts.”

“Did your girlfriend make it up there yet?”

The first alarm bell went off. “No. She should…” It hit him that there’d been plenty of time for Tiffany to have made it up to the loft. “Fuck.”

“Yep. I’m not sure how she got in, but I came out front from the storage closet with a case of Heineken, and saw a crowd gathering in front of the bar. I was surprised ’cause it’s still early. It took me a minute to figure out what’s going on, but there’s a hot blonde surrounded by Robinson and the Bronson twins. She doesn’t belong.”

“Why do you think it’s Tiffany?”

“For starters, she looks like a dead ringer of how Derek described her,” Ethan said. “But mainly, because she’s the only woman I’ve seen in the club fully dressed, looking like she just came from the office. She has no collar and she looks scared shitless.”

“God dammit. I can’t fucking believe it. I’m gonna wail on her ass so hard she isn’t going to sit down for a week.”

“Well, you’d better hurry. It seems like she just said something that totally pissed Robinson off. He looks like he’s going to beat you to it.”

Lukus was already sprinting to the stairwell, knowing it was faster than waiting for the elevator. “Over my dead body. Get out there and break it up. Protect her at all costs until I get there.”

“You got it, boss.” The call ended as both men moved into action.

Lukus’s mind raced thinking of all the bad things Robinson might do to his Tiff as he took the stairs two at a time, going as fast as he could without breaking his neck.

On some level he knew he couldn’t pin the blame for this situation on Robinson, even if he was a top-notch asshole. He had so wanted to expel him from the club when Robinson, a sadistic bastard, put his sub-turned-slave in the hospital six weeks ago. If only the woman had pressed charges, Lukus could have expelled him, but she moved back in with him after her release from the hospital. Following the strict by-laws of the club contracts, the most Lukus could sanction him with was a one-month suspension from stepping foot on club property. That one month had ended last weekend.

He’d better not hurt a hair on her head or he’s dead.

Lukus made it to the first floor in one piece and took the quickest route to the club floor by rushing across the stage and through the red velvet stage curtains. The room was dimly lit, but he could make out the crowd gathered in front of the bar, as Ethan described. He stopped long enough to assess the situation. His blood started to boil when he saw Robinson pulling Tiffany’s hair and grabbing her ass.

I’m glad I have Markus on retainer. There’s a good chance I might end up in jail tonight.






“Take your hands off her right now, Robinson, or I’ll cut them off for you.”

Tiffany had never been so happy to hear Lukus’s voice. When her captor failed to release her fast enough for Lukus, she felt herself being yanked back into Lukus’s arms, her back pressed against his chest, wrapped in his protective embrace. She could feel tension building in the silent standoff between the two Doms.

The older man broke the silence with a stiff response. “Mitchell.”

“Robinson. I think you should be heading out.”

“Fuck you. I just got here. Since when do you play referee out on the club floor? She’s not collared. She’s fair game.”

“The hell she is. Take one last good look at this woman so you’ll know her when you see her. Listen up. If I ever see you so much as glancing her way, let alone talking to her, or touching her ever again, I’ll knock you into next year. Got that?”

Tiffany felt Lukus shaking with anger while holding her tight against him. Unfortunately, she knew a good share of his justifiable anger was directed at her for disobeying him. She prayed the Dom in front of her would back down, because she was going to feel even worse if they threw punches over her stupid curiosity.

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