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Bound (Mastered #1)(3)

By:Lorelei James

Sandan Zach clapped his hands. "Listen up, ladies. I'll do a brief overview of the class, but first everyone needs to remove socks and shoes."

Amery shot Molly a look, but she'd already started untying her laces. She unzipped her black riding boots and tossed them on top of her purse.

"This class is more involved than the typical women's self-defense class you take at the Y. Taking charge of your safety is the first step since most violent acts happen one on one. But during this class you will learn together, and part of that is being supportive of each other and helping each other learn."

Good philosophy.

"We'll warm up. Nothing like the rigorous jujitsu warm-ups you're seeing in other classes, I promise you. So spread out, arm's length on each side."

Molly headed for the back row, but Amery snagged her hand. "No hiding, remember?"

"You're bossy even outside of work."

Amery grinned.

But it seemed everyone wanted to be in the front row, so they ended up in the back anyway.

Sandan Zach walked a circle around the class members as he gave directions for gentle stretches. Amery wished she had on yoga pants-the jeans were cutting into her every time she moved.

Molly leaned over and puffed. "I thought he said this wouldn't be a rigorous workout. I didn't sign up for aerobics."

"No doubt." Amery felt a little out of breath herself. "And if he tries to make me run? Sorry, I'm making a break for the door."

Molly snickered, but she stopped abruptly when Sandan Zach stared at her.

"Before we get started, are there any questions?"

"Yes. Why isn't she wearing the required uniform?"

Amery froze. The commanding voice sent a chill through her. Like a hot breeze blowing across wet skin and resulting in head-to-toe goose bumps. Before she could turn around and determine if his face matched his sensual voice, her instructor piped in.


"I apologize, Sensei. Would you prefer that I excuse her from class?"

Excuse her from the class? Bullshit. Seemed Mr. Tattooed Bald Gatekeeper up front had neglected to remind her about the dress code, but that wasn't her fault. She'd paid the fee; she wasn't going anywhere. And why wasn't either of these men, Mr. Dangerous and Delicious Voice or Drill Instructor Zach, addressing her directly?

"She can speak for herself." Amery whirled around to face the sensei.

Holy hell. Good thing she'd locked her knees or else she might've fallen to them. The man's face more than matched the seductive voice; he was quite simply the most stunning man she'd ever seen. High cheekbones and a wide, chiseled jawline courtesy of Germanic or Nordic genes in his lineage. His full lower lip bowed at the corners, giving his mouth a sensual curve. The slight bend in his nose added interest to his otherwise perfect features. And his eyes. She'd never seen eyes that hue-a light golden brown the color of topaz. The corners of his eyes tilted upward, indicating his family tree also included an Asian branch. His black hair nearly brushed his shoulders. Everything about this man, from his face to his posture, announced his commanding presence.

Sensei definitely wasn't the decrepit man she'd imagined.

"Are you done?" he asked in that velvet voice, but his tone was decidedly clipped.

Amery blushed when she realized she'd been staring at him practically slack-jawed.

"Why isn't your student wearing the required uniform?" he asked Sandan Zach again, while maintaining an intense eye lock with her.

"Why are you chewing him out? It's not his fault I'm not wearing the right clothing," she snapped.

And that whole could've heard a pin drop saying? Now Amery knew exactly what that meant. Seemed everyone in the entire building-not just in the vicinity-had gone silent and was gaping at her.

Then Mr. Sexy Sensei leaned forward, placing his mouth right next to her ear. "I don't allow open defiance in my dojo. Ever."

The warmth of his breath flowed across her neck and she suppressed a shiver.

"Is that clear?"


"'Yes, sir,' 'Yes, Sensei,' or 'Yes, Master Black' is an acceptable response. 'Uh-huh' is not."

"Got it, uh, Master Black."

"If you hope to stay in this class, I'd suggest you wear the proper clothing without argument." 

"Since I was a last-minute addition to this class, I don't have the proper clothing."

He said, "We'll remedy that now. Follow me."

His tenor demanded that she obey. She trailed after him, feeling every eye in the place on them. Her focus remained on the broad back in front of her.