Diesel by Piper Malone was a sexy, suspenseful, beautiful story full of great characters, interesting story lines, and a great depth of emotion.
– Shayna Renee’s Spicy Reads
Author: Piper Malone
Genre: New Adult
Publication Date: December 20, 2014
Is he a snake in the garden…
Diesel guards her loyalties and her privacy fiercely. In order to protect both, she never wavers from her ironclad shell of self-control. So when intrepid entertainment blogger Elliot Archer breaches the gates of Eden, the nightclub sensation over which she reigns, her defenses heighten. Is Elliot here to document her kingdom, or tear apart her paradise?
Or the key to her salvation…
Just as she feared, Elliott begins to break down her walls. Her desires stir, ignited by his sinful body and heated stares. With his tender words, strong heart, and quest to make her whole, Elliot opens her soul as no one ever has.
Or the push to her downfall?
When Diesel finally releases the last pieces of herself to Elliot, her kingdom is set ablaze, scorching the heart she safeguarded for years. Can Elliot’s love be enough to heal her wounds before it is too late?
A week’s worth of work has created the amalgam before me. People are everywhere. Inside Eden, some are doing last minute preps, sound checks, checking scant outfits in the mirrors. Outside, I see the crowd and can hear the buzz of anticipation and excitement. I figure now is a good time to take pictures, so I walk backstage.
Down the hall, from one of the rooms, I hear Jessica’s voice.
“I’m not sure why you think this is necessary?” She sounds frantic.
“Look,” Mike replies with a flat tone, “it’s what we do. You know this. What’s your problem today?”
“Nothing.” Jessica is irritated, huffy.
I can hear an interior door open and close.
“Oh, well there she is. The woman of the hour!” Jessica drawls in a sarcastic tone.
“Ugh, Jess. What have I inadvertently done now? Did I breathe your air? Step on your earth?” Diesel responds, her voice sounding dismissive and somewhat cold.
“Worse. I went out with Elliot for dinner and we couldn’t even get through drinks without him asking a million questions about you!”
Oh boy. From that tone, there will be no getting a second date. Not that I necessarily wanted one. She was right about the whole ‘no knickers’ comment. I am momentarily distracted by how she knew British slang but I am brought back by Diesel’s voice. I’ve not seen her since Wednesday.
She sighs audibly. “Look, Jess, I think he’s just curious. This is new for him. He’s trying to get his footing. There is a lot here. Give him a break. He seems like a nice enough guy. Just go easy on him.”
“Really? That’s what you want me to do?”
“Or not. The decision is yours. You’re an adult.”
I hear Jessica huff and she stomps toward the open door immediately to my left. Shit, I’ve got to get out of here. A second later, Jessica is flying out of the room and runs directly into me.
“I-I’m sorry.” I have no choice but to apologize profusely, I think for more than slamming into her.” You look lovely tonight, Jessica.”
She glares at me with unspoken hostility.
“Good luck tonight,” I try to muster as she storms past me. Hell, that was awful.
Before I can escape the hall, I am pulled back to conversation in the room. Eavesdropping has never really been my thing, but Mike’s tone peaks my interest.
“Diesel,” he asks, curiosity lacing his words, “what was that all about?”
“What? Jessica having a spaz? That’s rote; you know that’s how she is.”
“You’ve never complimented Elliot since he’s been here.” Mike truly sounds shocked and amused by this change in her.
“Look, I just said he seems nice. There’s no harm in observing nice.”
“If he such a nice guy, why are you feeding him to her? Are you observing more than his personality, darling?” His tone is clearly teasing. I can hear the smile creep across his face.
“Enough.” Her comment is sharp but she sounds like her night is already off. Maybe nervous? “Are you serious that this is the conversation we are going to have right now? Do you know we are on in a few minutes?”
He snorts before responding. “More like an hour, but I’ll leave you be. I’ll make sure everyone is where they need to be.”
“Thank you, Mike. You know how to make me oh so happy.” Her tone is amusingly sarcastic.
“Yes, I do.” I can hear Mike’s smile. “Best wishes, darling. You will be amazing.”
“I hope so.” She says it with what sounds like a sad sigh.
“I know so.”
Ten minutes later, Mike finds me and we banter about the set for the evening over a beer. I’ve taken up my favorite spot, the back corner, a prime position to observe everything and everyone. I can stand on one of the huge windowsills and truly be above the audience if need be.
The evening begins with Bain in the booth. The crowd comes instantly alive under his tutelage. He really is very good at what he does and clearly loves every minute of it.
As the night rolls on, various other DJs take over for Bain. It’s a very democratic feel, no one person is fully responsible for spinning the whole evening. I’ve observed the audience for the majority of the evening. The chattering, laughing, drinking, and hook-ups are all typical evening-out behavior. I’ve seen pretty much everyone, Mike and Bain at various places and times, Jessica and several others who are connected with Eden. But no Diesel. I heard her getting ready. She was putting on makeup. I heard her tell Mike they were on soon. Where is she?
My thoughts are cut short with an increase in noise near the stage. The base has begun to pound in a rhythmic tone, the lights on the stage pulsing in time with the sound. Everyone, including me, is rapt by the event. One by one they come to the stage, the women and men of Eden moving in time with the music. Individually, they come to stand at various points along the perimeter of the stage and look out into the crowd. Everyone goes ballistic, screaming, yelling, hands thrust towards those on stage. I watch until the entire stage is lined with people. Mike and Bain stand shoulder-to-shoulder at center stage. They are both looking out into the crowd. Bain catches my eye and smiles. I raise my glass in acknowledgement. Bain laughs and points to me, then quickly focuses back to the swarm of girls at his feet.
What the hell is going on?
Over the speakers, the DJ addresses the crowd. “Anyone ready for a little bit of fun tonight?” Again, the crowd goes wild.
“Are we all ready and accounted for?” he inquires. The crowd responds, willing him to begin.
“I think our ship is short a captain? What do you think?” His words instantly change the stage lighting. All the lights on stage go dark with the exception of a space that has opened between Bain and Mike that is lit by a single overhead spotlight.
The audience, now riotous, begins to chant what at first is inaudible, then becomes a more unified and clear demand for Diesel.
As if on cue, the music shifts, slow and sultry, and she emerges. She stalks downstage and comes to stand between Mike and Bain. Dressed in nothing but heels and a belted black dress with flowing sleeves, she surveys the crowd as if she is ready to devour someone.
“Ladies and Gentlemen of Eden,” she coos to the crowd via a handheld mic, “you know it is our tradition to, well, stay with tradition. As we have grown over the years, we’ve had more and more people come to see us. From what I’m guessing,” —she turns to Bain, running a finger down his chest and abs—“you like what you see. Isn’t that right, ladies?” The women scream at a pitch I can hardly stand. She laughs, playing the crowd as she lightly smacks Bain’s rear end.
“Now boys,” she continues, “I think you’ve seen some things you like as well, yes?” Diesel struts over to Emily, a stunning blonde whom she kisses on the cheek and spins for the admiring men. The response is one that would rival a cheer from a winning touchdown by the home team.
“You see, it is our tradition to offer up a sacrifice to those who make Eden what it is.” She is all sex and purrs into every word. Diesel turns her back to the audience and raises her arms in offering to everyone on stage. “My friends, choose your sacrifice.”
The music turns to a hard-core rock song that bleeds with dark and dirty lyrics. The feel is hedonistic and the crowd immediately responds. Some members of the group jump into the crowd and pull various audience members to different places in the club. I watch Jessica lead a guy up into a suspended cage they’ve put up especially for tonight. Mike and Bain each grab willing participants and pull them up on the stage. The others cast members follow suit until everyone has positioned themselves around the club with an audience member.
Diesel remains on the stage watching the mayhem, rocking back and forth on her heels in time to the music. She only moves when everyone is in position, talking to the audience, engaging the guests who have come on stage.
She is the ringmaster to the circus of all circuses. Is this the intended effect? To get the crowd hot and bothered? It’s working. She’s working. Without a doubt, she is there to ramp up the crowd. Controlled. Sexy as hell. Those lips. Those legs. That voice. All pieces of a puzzle I’m not sure I will ever figure out. In this moment, she appears free, laughing and engaging the people who have come to Eden. She is happy, light. This woman on stage is not the same one who walked away from me at the other club. The woman from that night pales in comparison. The Diesel before me is more vibrant, more real than the plastic shell that tried to put me in my place on Saturday.
Diesel looks at every member of Eden’s cast, now standing in front of a chosen audience member. She smiles as she receives nods and thumbs-ups, relaying that each is ready for whatever is about to begin.
Diesel addresses the crowd. “Well, it appears as if we are all set and-”
“Wait, Diesel,” the DJ interrupts her, “don’t you think it’s proper for you to offer up a sacrifice, as well?”
The entire crowd is screaming now. It’s deafening and bordering on unruly.
Diesel smiles. “Thank you, Marco, you are right. I have my guest ready. You know I like to sneak up on my prey.”
Marco bows his head to her and smiles. He turns back to the music consoles, turning it up to a pounding rhythm that sets the tone for the event at hand.
Suddenly, as if consumed by the song, the dancers do nothing but focus on their guest. Circling them, tousling hair, kissing cheeks, unbuttoning shirts. Snapped from my curiosity of the onstage antics, I see Diesel take the hand of a bouncer before she descends the front stage steps. She surveys the crowd as she begins her tour of the possible guests she can bring on stage. Men and women clamor to her, begging, holding out their hands. She touches them, acknowledging the pleas, but keeps moving. I am immediately anxious and fearful as she catches my eyes. She walks toward me slowly, as if stalking me. She stops inches from my face, slowly breathing in and out. Fuck, she smells good…
“Put down your drink.” Diesel purrs it in my ear. I drop the cup unapologetically on the floor, beer splattering across the concrete. Diesel smiles and runs her hand down the buttons of my shirt, all the while looking at the various parts of my face, eyes, and lips. In my reverie from having her so close, I don’t realize she is pulling me forward by my shirt collar. I see her sway in front of me, the strut indicative of one proud of her capture. I have no choice but to follow. My heart is pounding and I am immediately sweating. I only faintly hear the crowd as they champion her on.
All too soon, I realize she is pulling me on stage under the hot, bright lights for everyone to see. She turns me to face the crowd before I am pushed into a chair. Diesel immediately begins to survey me as I’ve watched the other cast members do to their chosen ones. From my periphery, I have the opportunity to see the other dancers with their sacrifices. Bain already has his shirt off, tilting the chair on two legs as he undulates his body against a beautiful redhead who is clearly enjoying herself. Jessica has straddled the guy she snared, circling her hips in perfect time with the music as she whips his shirt in a circle over her head. A primal roar erupts from the opposite side of the club, sparked by Emily, who has lost her flimsy tank and is eagerly rubbing her ass into the crotch of a guy who looks ready to blow. Then it hits me.
Holy shit. It’s a lap dance!
Diesel pushes her hand through my hair to muss it before she begins to unbutton my shirt. My initial instinct is to jump and run; however, I am paralyzed. By fear? By desire? This woman just pulled me up on stage and I can’t move. I am dumbstruck between being on stage and Diesel and the music. The vibration of the bass resonates through my chair. It’s the metronome to her movements around me. She runs her hands down my legs before shoving them apart. As she straddles one of my legs, she gently cups my chin, tilting my face to meet her eyes.
She smiles at me and makes a sensual demand in my ear. “Pull the belt.” I look to her waist and with trembling hands, I pull her soft satin belt. I see her flesh peek through what was nothing more than a well-disguised robe. She rolls her head back and peels off the robe to reveal her naked body in nothing now but a black lace bra and panties. I am breathless and can feel my reaction to her everywhere.
She hovers over me, rubbing her soft skin against mine. She presses her beautiful ass into my crotch. She straddles my lap before running her hands through in my hair again, down my chest and over my legs. I’m not sure when, but I am no longer aware of the music or the people or the vibration of the bass. It’s only her. Her breath on me. The brush of her bra on my bare chest. Her smell. The feel of her hair tickling my skin. The warmth of her body. I am lost in her. I want nothing but to touch her. To kiss her.