“Afternoon, Counselor. Got a minute?”
Sarah’s pen hovered over the page, her whole body tightening in anticipation. That voice. God, she loved that voice. Midnight dark, velvet smooth, full of promise…and sensual threat. Her belly clenched, sending a flood of pussy juice out onto the already-wet silk of her panties, as if the thoughts she’d been having about all the delicious things they’d done in bed that morning had somehow conjured him up and brought him to her. Slowly she lowered the pen and raised her head to see Jesse standing in the open doorway of her office, his magnificent body filling the empty space.
One shoulder rested casually against the doorframe, one booted foot was crossed in front of the other, and his arms were folded across his broad chest. His stance may have been easy and relaxed, but the raw power emanating from him left no doubt that he controlled the space around him. And the look he gave her, a look filled with raw, sexual hunger and need, left her in no doubt that he would soon be controlling her as well.
Her mouth went dry. Holy crap! Her stomach plummeted and even more juice spilled out onto her panties as she found herself staring into the obsidian depths of his gaze. He had never looked more predatory than he did at that moment. Every cell in her body burst into life, celebrating like a squad of demented cheerleaders, jumping up and down and shaking pompoms. God, he was so gorgeous! How she loved those wide shoulders, that massive chest, slender hips, and nicely rounded ass. To say nothing of those full, sensuous lips, hawk’s blade of a nose, and killer cheekbones—Yum! And don’t forget all those delicious muscles, her inner imp, Dolores, reminded her, bunching and rippling and…Good grief, how could any one man be so damn sexy? Dressed in the official Marshall’s Creek PD uniform of black cargo pants and logoed black T-shirt, with his mirrored aviators hooked over the neckline, and black biker boots, his score on the Official Alpha Male Hot-O-Meter was…okay, so he broke the Official Alpha Male Hot-O-Meter.
As she watched, her tongue glued to the roof of her mouth, he unfolded his arms and pushed easily off the doorframe, moving with a fluid grace that was so at odds with his large size. He entered the room, pulling the door closed behind him. Her office was spacious, but with him in it, it seemed cramped. As soon as she saw his shit-eating grin and the predatory gleam in his eyes, she knew she was in trouble. He looked raw. Untamed. Stripped of civilization.
“Strip, little sub. Now.”
Okay, strike that. She wasn’t in trouble. She was in bi-i-ig trouble. “I beg your pardon?” Oh, my God, is that my voice? I sound like a chipmunk on helium! Tilting her head regally, she rose from her chair and stood stiffly, lifting her chin in defiance. She was determined not to go down without a fight. This was her office, for crying out loud, not The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. She cleared her throat, squaring her shoulders and summoning all the authority and righteous indignation she could muster. After all, it was important, in any new relationship, to set boundaries. “Jesse, I don’t know what you think you’re doing, but you’re not going to do it in here.”
One eyebrow rose as he continued to advance.
Just in time she stopped herself from putting up her hand to ward him off. Yeah, like that’d work.
“I gave you an order, Sarah.”
“Jesse!” It was an angry hiss. “This is not the bedroom, this is the county attorney’s office. My office, where I’m in charge. You can’t just come barging in here and order me to strip!”
“No?” He stopped around a foot in front of her, lifting his right hand to palm the side of her neck, a deliberate act of possession. He held her in place easily while the fingertips of his left hand traced a path across her cheek, down her throat, barely grazing her skin before coming to rest against the pulse point pounding frantically in the hollow of her throat. “You tellin’ me you don’t want this? ‘Cause this”—he tapped his fingertip against it—“tells me otherwise.”
He watched her throat work as she swallowed. Hard. Knew she was torn between her lingering sense of propriety and her overwhelming need to surrender. Knew how difficult she was finding it to believe that freeing her from the last of her shyness did not equal humiliation, but glorification. He’d already done everything he could to control this particular scene. He’d told Heather, her receptionist, that they were not, under any circumstances, to be disturbed. And he’d locked the door on his way in.
But he wasn’t about to tell Sarah that. Not yet anyway. After all, it was important in any new D/s relationship to set boundaries. A good Dom always kept his sub off balance. It was a matter of principle, as well as a matter of trust. She had to trust him enough to know he would keep her safe while giving her the pleasure she craved. The pleasure she needed. Although he and Adam and Sarah had only been together for a little over a month now, she was still finding it difficult to just let go and put herself fully in their hands.
It was a situation he regretted to the bottom of his soul. A situation he knew he’d played a major role in by disappearing from her life eight years ago with no word of explanation or farewell. A situation he and his best friend Adam were determined to remedy by taking her beyond her comfort zone into sexual freedom. By continuing to push the boundaries of her pleasure, revealing the exquisitely wanton and sexy woman she was beneath all the layers of sanctimonious crap heaped on her by her harsh, judgmental father, her abusive ex, and society at large. But mostly by loving her, by cherishing her, and slowly but surely, by earning her trust.
Trust didn’t come easily to her, especially since her harrowing experience less than three weeks ago with Phillip Nugent, her ex-fiancé. He’d kidnapped her and held her at knife-point, nearly slitting her throat before Jesse and Adam and two of their SEAL buddies were able to rescue her.
Jesse closed his eyes, swallowing with difficulty around the sudden thickness in his throat. He wouldn’t think about that now. Wouldn’t think about how close he’d come to losing her. He gentled the hand gripping her neck and bent his head to place his forehead against hers. “Did you not catch the part where I told you to strip?” he asked quietly.
“Did you not catch the part where I reminded you that you are in my office?” She fought to inject steel into her voice, but failed miserably. She’d already lost this particular battle and she knew it. The heat from his body flowed over her like liquid fire, weakening her knees and igniting a conflagration deep within her core. Electricity arced between them, crackling and sparking like a damaged control panel on the Starship Enterprise. She could almost smell the ozone. Caught up in a wave of shimmering desire, she could feel her resistance ebbing away.
He straightened. “Look at me, Sarah.”
She licked her lips, keeping her gaze fixed firmly on Jesse’s chin, unwilling to meet his eyes. She didn’t want him to see just how close she was to giving in. “I’ve seen you before,” she replied stubbornly. “I know what you look like.”
Suppressing a grin, he tightened his grip on the back of her neck. He loved her sass, but wasn’t about to encourage it. Threading his long fingers through her hair, he fisted them, using her hair as a handle to tug her head back and force her gaze up to his.
Her breathing hitched then stopped. Something dark and wild roamed in the glittering blackness of his eyes. Something that sent yet another torrent of fresh cream gushing between her legs. Something that excited her even as it frightened her. She crossed her arms over her breasts.
“You’re trying to control me, Jesse. Just like Phillip.” Oh, my God! Did I just say that? Did I just compare this man, the man I love more than life itself, to the man who nearly killed me just to get his hands on my money?
“Not like Phillip, and you damn well know it!” His voice sharpened, taking on a harsh edge. “Fuck, Sarah, how can you even say such a thing?”
“I—” Her throat closed. “I’m sorry, I—”
“Adam and I control you because we love you and cherish you and want to spend the rest of our lives givin’ you multiple orgasms so we can have the pleasure of watchin’ you come. And even then, we only do it because you allow us to. After all, that’s what your safe word is for. With that, you can stop us any time you want. Did Asshole give you a safe word? Did he listen when you said no? When you told him to stop, did he? Of course not! In fact, less than a month ago, he hit you so hard he broke your cheekbone, then nearly slit your throat.”
She winced, remembering the pain and horror of that encounter.
Both Jesse’s voice and his touch gentled. “Nugent controlled you with violence and intimidation purely in order to crush you, to grind you under his heel and keep you subjugated. Because that’s the only way a weak man can deal with a strong woman like you. We control you with pleasure, in order to free you, to let you fly. That’s the difference between power exchange and abuse. With power exchange you have a choice, with abuse, you don’t.”
“Like I have a choice now?” she asked.
“You always have a choice, Sarah. Submittin’ is a choice. All you have to do to stop me right now is say your safe word, and I’ll go back to the station.” He paused. “Are you usin’ your safe word?”
She stood, stiff and silent, biting her lip as she struggled to find her balance. He was pushing her way past her boundaries here, exactly as he’d been threatening to do since their very first encounter. Okay, it had been more of a promise than a threat, although with Doms it was kind of hard to tell. She had never considered sex in a public place as one of her hard limits. Mainly because she’d never considered sex in a public place before. Period. The very idea scandalized her, although one of the most exhilarating orgasms Jesse had ever given her had been in a fancy restaurant. And even though she’d been scared out of her wits, she had to admit that neither the waitstaff nor the rest of the diners had been any the wiser. True to his promise, Jesse had not only gotten her off, gloriously so, but he’d kept her safe while doing it.
He watched her inner struggle play out in her eyes, wishing he could do something to help her, knowing that the decision was hers and hers alone. If she used her safe word, he would honor it, of course, and leave with the realization that he had badly miscalculated the timing of this specific move. He would kiss her and tell her he loved her and go back to the station with the hard-on from hell threatening to burst through his jeans.
Seriously. His cock was hard enough to swing from. Had been since he’d blasted his cum into her sweet pussy that morning, a good, what, seven hours ago? Uh-oh. A seven-hour erection! Maybe I need to see a doctor. Or better yet, maybe I should just fuck my delectable little sub into oblivion so I can finally get my mind off my dick and get some fuckin’ work done! “I asked you a question, baby.”
“Ummm. N–no. Sir. I’m not using my safe word.”
“Good. And if you ever compare me to that asshole again, your bottom will be so sore, you won’t be able to sit down for a week. Do you understand me?”
“I…” Her voice faltered.
One black eyebrow soared.
“There’s my good girl.” His face softened. “Look, sugar, I agree that this is your domain, where you’re in charge. I get it. What you don’t get is that you are only in charge if I’m not in here with you. Because then it becomes my domain, and I’m in charge, because no matter where we are, if we’re together, I am in charge of you. Are we clear?” When she didn’t answer, his eyes darkened.
Pinioned by no more than his black gaze and the hand tightening around her neck, she might just as well have been tightly restrained. She couldn’t move. Not even when he took the final step that closed the distance between them, commandeering her personal space, dark intent in his eyes and raw hunger in every savage line of his face. She held her breath. Her nipples hardened and her stomach plummeted. “Jesse…”
One black eyebrow shot up. “Are we clear, baby?”
She gulped, struggling to maintain her swiftly vanishing equilibrium. “Y–yes, Jesse.”
“Good. Glad that’s settled. Now, I believe I gave you a direct order, Sarah. But since you seem to be incapable of following it, I’ll help.”
She watched, aghast, as he shoved her chair out of the way with his foot, sending it scooting across the marble floor. With both hands, he unbuttoned her teal silk blouse, jerked the tails out of the waistband of her skirt, and removed it, tossing it casually onto the seat of her chair. Reaching behind her, he deftly unclasped her ecru lace bra and pulled it off, revealing her creamy breasts to his hot, hard gaze. Folding the scrap of lace carefully, he stuffed it into the flapped pocket on the left leg of his cargoes. “Offer your breasts to me, Sunny.”
She gulped. Sunny. The name he and Adam had given her.The slave name he and Adam had given her. The name that let her know that a scene had officially started and she was their property until they saw fit to release her. Swallowing again, she curved her hands beneath her voluptuous breasts, lifting them up as if sacrificing them to a pagan god.
Every cell in his body burst into vibrant, throbbing life. He tried to swallow, but all the moisture in his mouth had evaporated and he couldn’t get his tongue to work. Christ! She wrecked him! She simply wrecked him! He still couldn’t believe he finally had her after needing her for so long. Eight years! Eight fuckin’ years!
“Jesus, sugar, your breasts are so gorgeous.” It was a hoarse whisper, barely audible above the blood pounding in his ears. His head descended. He closed his lips around one berry-like nipple and began suckling hard, flicking his tongue across the tight little nub like a scourge, sending ribbons of pleasure lashing against her clit.
Whimpering, she dropped her head back and arched forward, undulating her hips as she sought more of his exquisite torture.
Roughly replacing her hands with his, he plumped the soft pillows of her breasts as his mouth ravaged her nipples, going back and forth from one to the other, licking, sucking, taking sharp little nips that made her squeal, before soothing her with his tongue.
Spiraling higher and higher toward release, she could feel her juices running freely down the insides of her thighs. God, she was close…So close…
Grabbing her shoulders, he turned her and bent her forward, smashing her wet breasts against the cluttered, glass-covered desktop. Jeez, that’s cold. She sucked in a gasp as he roughly hiked her skirt up around her waist. Cool air brushed across the exposed skin of her buttocks. “Hands over your head, baby, grab the front edge of the desk and spread your legs.”
“Jesse, please,” she gasped, shoulders straining against his superior strength as he manhandled her into the position he wanted. “Judge Walters’s clerk is on his way over here. He’s bringing me some papers.”
“He can leave them with Heather.”
“No, he can’t.” Her voice rose shrilly in a last-ditch appeal to sanity. “He’s supposed to wait for me to sign them.”
He ignored her.
“Jesse, for God’s sake, he’ll be here any minute!”
“Then I suggest you get a move on, little sub.”
“Jesse, please…” She continued to resist, even as tremors of need pulsed through her until she was shaking all over. Part of her, the prim and proper, sexually repressed part, the part she’d named Angel, told her to defy him, since he was clearly out of line by coming into her office like this, expecting her to just drop everything and have wild, desktop sex. The other part of her, the inner, wanton, hedonistic imp she’d named Dolores, knew defiance was pointless. Knew she’d already lost this particular battle. Just do it, goaded Dolores’s shrill little voice in her head. Let him bend you over the desk. Let him force you to have sex—yeah, like he’d have to force you. After all, Dolores clapped her hands gleefully, seeing she had Sarah’s rapt attention, what’s the worst thing that can happen? The hottest man on the face of the planet will fuck you to the best orgasm of your life, that’s what! Really not seein’ the problem here, sweetcakes!
Unfortunately this was the part that always got her into trouble. Because ever since Jesse and Adam had come into her life, this was the part she always listened to. “What if someone just walks right in? They’ll see…”
“Time’s a-wastin’, Sarah.” Without waiting for her reply, he grabbed the elastic waistband of her teal silk and ecru lace panties, panties that were little more than a narrow strip of fabric between her legs, exposing her butt cheeks, and yanked them down until they caught halfway down her thighs, stretched to their limit. “Close your legs.” Barely giving her enough time to slide her feet together, he lifted one booted foot, placed it between her legs atop the bunched fabric, and shoved the panties down to the floor. “Step out.”
Kicking the scrap of brightly colored silk out of the way with the toe of his boot, he unzipped his jeans, freeing the iron rod of his cock. With a low groan, he rocked his hips forward, humping his hot, damp cock into the crease of her ass. “Christ, sugar, you feel so fuckin’ good! I’ve been dreamin’ about this all damn day.”
She clamped down on a whimper as the oxygen drained from her lungs. She had to stop this! He couldn’t be allowed to just come over here anytime he felt like it and…and…“Oh!” Her whimper turned into a yelp as he pulled back his hips and sent the entire length of his cock plowing through her slit, lubricating himself in her slick juices, stopping just short of…there! There! Oh, God, there! She groaned aloud, twisting beneath him as the orgasm rushing toward her stalled, then receded. Focus, damn it! This is crazy! You’re about to have sex in your office, for crap’s sake! You’ve got to stop him! But how could she be expected to stop him when he felt…So. Damn. Good? When she wanted it more than she wanted to breathe? When she wanted him with every fiber of her being?
Unable to restrain herself, she pushed her hips back, grinding against him with uninhibited abandon, burying his steel-hard length more deeply between the wet, swollen tissues of her labia. His clean, musky scent engulfed her, like an olfactory force field, zapping her brain and hijacking her ability to think. He smelled like sex and man, hot and raw and wild. Pleasure flowed over her, sweet and viscous, like warmed honey.
“God, Jesse.” He was an unrelenting force, like the Borg from Star Trek, whose chilling mantra, “resistance is futile” kept playing on an endless loop in her mind. With a sense of crushing inevitability, she lowered her cheek to the smooth surface of her desk and lifted her arms over her head to grab the front edge, a position that forced her even higher onto her tip-toes than the “fuck me” heels she was wearing. Angling her head around, she looked back at Jesse towering over her. Not that towering was difficult for him. At six foot three, he was pretty good at towering over just about anyone. His face wore an expression of pure lust, sending a sense of urgency unfurling through her belly.
Muscling his jeans down around his knees, he bent low over her back, surrounding her with his heat. He placed his mouth against her ear, licking and sucking and nibbling her sensitive skin until she was squirming and squealing beneath him. “I’m gonna fuck you, little sub,” he said with a growl. “Can’t wait to feel those tight little muscles bitin’ down on me as you come.”
Holding her down with one hand splayed across her lower back, he slid the edge of his other hand into her glistening slit. The edge that was covered with rough calluses acquired from years of handling the world’s deadliest weapons. “Christ, sugar, you’re so goddamn wet!” He chuckled, turning his fingers, letting them stroke, circle, pinch, and tease her wet, hypersensitized flesh, turning her whimper into one long, continual series of low, kittenish mews. “Makes me wonder. What has my naughty girl been thinkin’ about, hmm?” he asked with a devilish grin. “About how I left you hangin’ this mornin’ without allowin’ you to come?”
Her throat closed. Oh, God, he had done that. He so had done that, taking her to the edge time and time again before ruthlessly yanking her back, away from the abyss, leaving her sobbing in frustration, begging for a release he never granted. Punishment, he’d informed her, for coming twice the night before without first asking permission.
Removing his hand from between her legs, he held his fingers up so they both could see how shiny and wet they were from sloshing through her copious juices. The sharp scent of her arousal perfumed the room. Watching her through half-lidded eyes, his expression heavy with desire, he lifted his fingers to his nose, sniffing them appreciatively before putting them in his mouth. His eyes drifted closed as he hungrily licked them clean. “Goddamn, I love the taste of your pussy. A taste I’ll never get tired of, so goddamn tangy and sweet.”
Releasing his fingers with a slurp, he returned them to her wet, swollen folds to explore her further, ratcheting up her arousal by a factor of ten. “Have you been thinkin’ about me, sugar? Wantin’ me? Wishin’ I’d come over here and finish you off like I promised I would?”
God, you have no idea!
She groaned, wriggling her hips in invitation as his fingers tap-danced all around her acutely sensitive opening, circling, but never quite touching her burning clit. She was in agony. Had been in agony all morning, to the point she’d seriously considered going into her tiny en suite and getting herself off. Seriously considered. For at least one millionth of a nanosecond. But she hadn’t done it. Because it was forbidden. Because he would know if she had. She wasn’t sure how he would know, she just knew that he would and she didn’t want to disappoint him. Even if it meant spending the morning frustrated and horny. “Yes, Jesse, please…please finish me off. I need to come. Please let me come.”
“That’s what I’m here for, sugar,” he said tenderly. “To let my beautiful girl come. As many times as you want. I’ll always give you what you need, baby. And I’ll always keep you safe.” He leaned over her and whispered into her ear. “Trust.”
It was the only word he said.
It was the only word she needed.
Trust. The only thing he’d ever demanded from her, besides honesty. And, as difficult as she sometimes found it, she did trust him, with everything she had, everything she was. With that thought, the last of her uncertainty finally leached from her body and she sagged against the desk, giving him her full surrender.
“Good girl.” His voice was filled with pride. He smiled at the sight of the lovely, naked, submissive woman sprawled so deliciously across her desk, offering herself up like a banquet, inviting him to partake of her delectable delights. His hand left her sex with a slurping noise. Grabbing both her hips, he tapped her feet farther apart with the sides of his boot.
She felt the tip of his penis bumping along her furrow, blindly seeking her inner heat. Felt the bulbous head notching itself into the opening of her vagina, parting her swollen tissues as it pressed slowly, inexorably inside. A shuddering little cry left her throat, followed by a moan of protest as he pulled back out, a move he repeated several times until she was practically sobbing with the need to be stretched. Filled. Dominated. “Jesse…please…”
With no word of warning, he rammed into her, ripping a cry from her throat. He went deep, as deep as it was possible to go, as if he were trying to pierce her very heart. As she lay beneath him, lungs heaving, her body desperately trying to adjust to the shock of his penetration, he slowly pulled back out, making her moan and shudder with every inch of his excruciating retreat.
“Christ, sugar, you feel so good, so goddamn good. I’ve been thinkin’ about this all day. About your wet, juicy pussy takin’ my cock.” As he uttered his last word, he drove back into her dripping channel, slamming her against the desk, forcing her to take everything he was giving her. One hand gripped her hip, anchoring her in place, while the other curved around the front of her thigh to settle unerringly on her clit, that tiny bundle of sizzling nerve endings that was the key to all her pleasure.
She moaned softly, her back arching, her hips bucking as his cock thrust steadily in and out while his fingers stroked her clit. She gasped, muffling a shriek as he began swiveling his hips, adjusting his angle of entry to scrape across the wrinkled tissue of her G-spot.
Oh, God! Oh, God! As her body tightened in pleasure, he sped up his movements, building her pleasure brick by brick until her sudden harsh intake of breath froze in her lungs and her inner muscles clamped around him like a vise. Her head jerked back, her lips opening in a silent scream.
“That’s it, baby,” he urged, “come for me. Give me your pleasure.” Hips pistoning rapidly in and out, he fucked her fast and hard. “Come, Sarah. Come now.”
Her moans turned into tiny, mewling cries that she muffled against her forearm as she came the same way he fucked her, fast and hard, so hard she nearly bucked the two of them off her desk with the violence of the pleasure scything through her.
“Come again, baby.” This time her orgasm didn’t build. It didn’t have time to. It simply clobbered her, sweeping her away like a pyroclastic flow sweeps away a mountainside. Somehow, somehow, she managed not to scream as she contracted around him so violently she pulled him over the edge with her. She heard Jesse’s sharp, hissing gasp, felt his body stiffen above her, felt his cock thicken and jerk inside her as it deposited jet after jet of cum deep within her vagina, triggering yet a third release, a gentler one this time, one that undulated through her like ripples spreading on a lake.
With a low groan, Jesse slumped over her back, continuing to finger her clit lightly, allowing her to descend slowly from the peak of pleasure. She collapsed against the desk, gasping as the last of the oxygen drained from her tormented lungs. She didn’t know how long they lay there, shuddering with the aftershocks that continued to roll through them both. She just knew that when he finally pulled out of her, she felt abandoned. Bereft. Hot cum, a mixture of his and hers, splattered out of her onto the floor.
Bending down to plant a kiss on the sweet dimple at the base of her spine, one of his favorite spots on her body, Jesse straightened, pulling up his jeans and stuffing his still semi-hard cock inside. Zipping and adjusting himself, he walked into the small en suite bathroom that adjoined her office. When he returned with a damp washcloth and a hand towel, she hadn’t moved. She was still just lying there, laid out across the desk, eyes closed in bliss. Her skirt was still rucked up around her waist. The force of her orgasm had turned her bones to water, and she would have fallen if she hadn’t had the desk to hold her up.
With a grin of satisfaction, he hunkered down behind her and gently wiped away the copious residue of their lovemaking from her thighs and pussy, taking the time to kiss every inch of skin the washcloth cleaned. Even though he’d just had what was quite possibly the most spectacular orgasm of his life, his cock once again thickened and jerked, straining against the zipper of his cargoes. Christ, he loved this woman so fuckin’ much! He’d never get enough of her. Never. She healed his soul. Hell, she was his soul.
Annoyed to realize that his eyes were stinging, he blinked rapidly to suppress any tears foolish enough to form. He finished wiping her dry, placed one last, lingering kiss directly on her clit, then swiped the towel at the mess on the floor before carrying the soiled items back into the bathroom and dropping them in the sink. On the way back, he hooked her panties with his index finger, lifted them to his nose, and took a deep sniff before stuffing them into his pocket.
Going straight to her, he grabbed her gently by the shoulders and pulled her up, turning her to face him, studying her tear-stained face. She stared back at him, her eyes glassy and unfocused, the turquoise irises swallowed up by the blackness of her pupils. She was flying. Soaring blindly through the shadowy realm of subspace, lost in the pleasure she’d just been given. Lifting both hands to wipe away the remnants of her tears with his thumbs he bent his head to place a lingering kiss on each damp cheek.
With a tremulous sigh, she shut her eyes, loving the feel of his lips against her skin. Loving the tiny kisses he strung like jewels across her temple, beneath her ear, along her jawline. “Jesse…” It was a moan, and all of a sudden his arms were around her and his lips were crushing hers, his rough tongue bulldozing inside, taking her, staking his claim in a kiss that started out hard and brutal before softening into something else, something that cherished, something that gave more than it took. Something that ravished her heart and warmed her soul.
With a deep groan, he ripped his mouth away, lifting his hands to cradle her face. He stroked her hair, threading his fingers through the silky strands, curving them around the back of her head to hold her in place for a gentler, more leisurely exploration of her mouth. His tongue stroked against hers, flooding every sensory receptor in her body with a blissful languor.
Whimpering helplessly, she lifted her arms around his neck, pressing her breasts against the hard wall of his chest as the kiss went on and on, melting her bones and setting fire to her blood.
When she whimpered again, he lifted his head, staring down at her, all his love for her written plainly on his face. Without a word, he scooped her up and carried her over to the burgundy leather sofa against the wall. Snagging the afghan off the back of the sofa, he turned and sat, shaking out the folds of the soft, hand-knitted throw. He swung his legs up and lay back with his head resting against the overstuffed arm. Positioning her sideways across his lap, with her back against the back of the couch, he pulled her upper body down to rest across his chest and draped the afghan over them. Both muscular arms went around her, holding her close.
As much as she loved the intensity of the sex between them, she loved this part just as much, the aftercare. The part where one or both of her Doms simply held her, making her feel warm and cherished and loved. Making her feel…treasured. With a sigh, she snuggled her cheek into the hollow his chest, placing the flat of her left hand against one well-defined pectoral muscle, entranced by the sparks flashing from the diamonds in her engagement ring.
Correction, engagement rings. There were two of them, each with a slightly different design, but whose large diamonds offset each other, thus allowing them to fit together as one. The wedding band was shaped to snuggle between them, as if being sheltered by them. They’d given them to her at a celebratory dinner two weeks ago, after she’d been given the all-clear by Dr. Will Durant, former member of Jesse and Adam’s SEAL team, and the maxillofacial surgeon at Bethesda Naval Hospital who’d repaired the eye socket Phillip Nugent had broken. “I love you, Jesse.” Her voice was so soft, it was barely audible.
He pressed his lips against the top of her head in a lingering kiss. “I love you, too, sugar. You good?” His voice was a low, rumbling growl in her ear that shivered up her spine.
“Um.” She thought for a moment. Am I good? “Define good.”
He chuckled. “I’ll take that as a yes, then.”
Dreamily content, she nuzzled her cheek more deeply into his chest, basking in the heat radiating from him like a furnace, lulled by the steady beat of his heart beneath her ear and the soothing, almost hypnotic rhythm of his hand stroking up and down her arm. She wanted to stay like that forever, well loved and satisfied within the shelter of his arms.
The arms of the man she’d loved since the first time she’d ever seen him, thirteen years ago. She’d been dangling upside down from a broken tree limb thirty feet above the ground, watching his frantic run across the lawn to rescue her. He’d been gone for the last eight of those years, but now he was back. And inexplicably, thankfully, miraculously he’d brought Adam with him, making her complete in ways she’d never have believed possible. Thanks to her two hot, sexy men, she was living the perfect life. The life she’d been dreaming about for thirteen long, lonely years. The life that, for the last eight of those years, she’d despaired of ever having.
She tried to sit up, but his arms tightened around her, keeping her in place, giving them a few more seconds of bliss. But time had run out on their loving interlude, and they both knew it.
“Sweetheart, I need to get back to work.” This time when she pushed herself up, he didn’t stop her. She sat, looking down at him, feeling his cock begin to jerk beneath her bottom as she allowed her hand to drift across the sculpted muscles of his chest and abdomen.
“Is this going to happen often?” she asked.
Jesse tucked one hand beneath his head, lifting the other to allow his knuckles to skim lightly across her cheek. His eyes, glittering pools of black light, held hers captive as his thumb stroked streaks of fire back and forth across her lips. “If by ‘this,’” he said quietly, “you mean comin’ into your office, bendin’ you over your desk and fuckin’ you senseless”—he curved his long, lean fingers around the back of her neck—“then I’d say the answer to that would be a resoundin’ yes.”
“Jesse…” Her attempt at a protest died in her throat when he pulled her head down roughly and closed his mouth over hers in a deep, wet kiss that demanded her total surrender.
She gave it to him.
She melted against him as his tongue speared between her lips, responding to every thrust with a parry of her own. His tongue claimed her, mated with her, one blistering thrust after another, until she felt like she was drowning in a sea of fire. Clinging desperately to his shoulders for support, she answered him stroke for stroke as the fire consumed her from the inside out.
He slid the hand from behind his head to close his long, lean fingers around a breast, tugging and manipulating her supple flesh as he flicked his thumb idly back and forth across her nipple. She gasped out a moan as her arousal spiked, sending fresh cream spilling out into her slit. Holy Moley!
Holding her firmly in place, he slanted his head, gentling his kiss, turning the almost-brutal assault into a sipping, licking, tasting exploration of the sweetness of her mouth. When he finally allowed her to lift her head, he once again trapped her gaze in the swirling blackness of his. “If by ‘often,’” he went on, his voice so hoarse it sounded like it had been pulsed in a blender, “you mean whenever I feel like it, then the answer is hell yes.” His eyes darkened. He continued brushing the backs of his knuckles down the gentle slope of her cheeks.
“Missed out on eight years of you, baby,” he said quietly. “Eight years of thinkin’ about you, dreamin’ about you, missin’ you so bad I had an ache in my chest that never went away.” His thumb swiped away the lone tear sliding down her cheek. “Eight fuckin’ years of not seein’ you. Not touchin’ you. Not bein’ able to love you. Eight years of lyin’ in bed at night, takin’ out my memories of you and touchin’ them one by one like King Midas fingerin’ his gold. I got a lotta catchin’ up to do, baby. So, yeah, I guess you could say this is gonna happen often.”
“But”—she swallowed and licked her lips, still determined to make her point, even though she knew she was wasting her breath—“anyone could’ve just walked right in on us while we…we were…” she trailed off, stopped by the pressure of his first two fingers against her lips.
“I locked the door, Sarah.”
For a long moment she just stared at him as if she hadn’t heard him. Then her eyes widened as realization set in. “You…locked—um, I didn’t—when…”
“I also told Heather that we were not to be disturbed. Not for any reason. Not under any circumstances. Any business that came up would just have to wait.”
“Trust, Sarah. It’s all about trust. Yours in me, mine in you.”
Shame heated her cheeks, and she slid her gaze away, gnawing on her lower lip as she struggled with the ramifications of what she’d done. Trust. It was all he asked of her, all he’d ever asked of her. She had already been caned once for her lack of it, an excruciatingly painful experience she had no desire to repeat. Yet here she was, failing him once again. Her throat thickened, and she squeezed her eyes shut in a vain attempt to prevent the tears from falling.
They rolled unheeded down her cheeks to drip off her chin.
She felt the fingers of both his hands spear through her hair, felt his palms curve in to cradle her face between them, felt his thumbs brush the dampness from her cheeks.
“What’s my job, sugar? As your Dom, I mean?”
“Um. To love me?”
If she’d been looking at him, she would have seen his expression soften. “That’s not my job, baby, that’s my reward. Guess again.”
A sly grin tugged at the corners of her lips. “To torture me?”
He laughed. “Also my reward. My job, my primary responsibility as your Dom, is to keep you safe. But you have to trust me enough to know that I will always do that. That neither Adam nor I would ever put you in a position where you might be harmed or humiliated. Only glorified.” His voice held no anger, as he was merely stating fact, but she could feel the keen edge of his disappointment in her behavior.
“I–I’m sorry, Jesse.” She closed her eyes, swallowing hard. “I know I failed you, I…”
“Stop right there, sugar. Look at me.”
She did, to find herself drowning in the glittering abyss of his eyes. No, not drowning. Floating. Buoyed by the intensity of the love and understanding she saw swirling in the turbulence of those inky, black depths. He adjusted the angle of his head against the sofa arm, looking up at her with eyes so hot, and she felt scorched.
“Don’t worry, sugar, you’re not gonna fail us. We won’t let you. Your full trust in us will come, but to help it along, Adam and I are gonna take you to Ravish.”
Huh? “You’re going to ravish me?” she asked in confusion.
“No, baby. We’re gonna take you to a club called Ravish. It’s a bondage club in Norfolk owned by some friends of ours, the Lavalliers.
Lavallier. Why did that name sound so familiar? Oh, crap.
“You mean Mistress Sidonie Lavallier?”
“One and the same.”
Sidonie Lavallier was a hard-as-nails Domme who owned the fetish boutique where Adam had bought most of Sarah’s clothes. The woman had thought Sarah was Adam’s slave and had had the gall to suggest that she needed to learn some manners. She had even offered to teach her those manners. She’d practically been drooling at the prospect of getting her hands on Sarah. Fortunately, Adam had set her straight and she’d backed off.
Still. Sidonie Lavallier was one scary-ass woman. And now they planned on taking her to the woman’s bondage club? Holy fuck!
All sorts of images buzz-bombed her mind. Images of herself wearing nothing but a leather corset and six-inch stilettos, sucking cock, being tied up and flogged, being—whoa! Images that left her shaken and terrified, even as they aroused the hell out of her. Holy fuck, indeed. She licked her lips. “Wh–what would we do there? Will I have to go naked? Will anyone touch me? Will they hurt me?”
“Slow down, baby, slow down. First of all, you will be wearin’ our collar, which will tell every Dom there that you are under our protection. That means no one, I repeat no one, will touch you without our permission. And no one would dare hurt you. We will pick out somethin’ appropriate for you to wear. As for what we do there, that will be entirely up to Master Adam and me.” He looked at her, noting the way she gnawed on her lower lip, something she always did when she was nervous. “Are you scared, baby?”
“Yes,” she admitted, still worrying her lip. “Mistress Sidonie said I needed to learn some manners.”
He laughed. “So you do. But the only ones who’re gonna teach them to you are Master Adam and me. Don’t worry, sugar. We won’t allow anyone to harm you.”
“So, why do we have to do it at all, then?”
“To help rid you of the last of your residual shyness and false modesty. To glorify your body and your submission to us. To let everyone see what a beautiful and delightful little subbie we have. And to free you to explore every wicked little thing that gives you pleasure.”
“But how can you call that freedom, when you’re ordering me to do it?”
“Ah.” He nodded sagely. “That’s the paradox of the D/s way of life. Total freedom through total submission. If there was somethin’ that you knew would embarrass you, but that we knew would give you pleasure, would you actually do it if we didn’t order you to?” He watched as she mulled that over. “I didn’t think so. Without us, you would never live out any of your fantasies. With us, you’re free to explore all your fantasies. Now go get your blouse, baby, and bring it to me.”
She scrambled off his lap, his hand on her hip keeping her in place until he was sure she was steady. As she went to retrieve her clothing, he swung his legs off the sofa and knifed up into a sitting position. When she returned, he scooted his butt to the edge of the seat and spread his legs. He motioned for her to stand between them, facing him. “I’m not gonna punish you for your slowness to trust, baby, but I am gonna leave you with a reminder of your place in our hearts and our expectations of you as we guide you through your continuin’ journey into submission.”
He reached into one of the flapped pockets of his cargo pants with his right hand, while grabbing her arm with his left and pulling her toward him until her knees bumped against the front of the burgundy leather sofa. That placed his head on the same level with her breasts. “Bend forward, baby, hold onto me.”
As she reached for his shoulders, he released her arm and curved his left hand beneath her right breast, lifting it to his face, nuzzling and kissing, licking and nipping her tender flesh. She let out a series of shuddering sighs and squeaks. Her hands tightened around his shoulders. She had to lock her knees to keep from falling, as arousal once again spiked within her.
“Christ, sugar, you have the most gorgeous tits.” The wet heat of his mouth closed around the hard knot of her nipple, and she squealed in pleasure/pain. He bit with his teeth, soothed the sharp little pain with his tongue, tugged with his lips until her nipple was swollen and throbbing. Then he lifted his head, eyeing his handiwork. Her breast was swollen, her skin flushed, and her nipple was so red and elongated and shiny, he swore he could see it pulsing with every pounding beat of her heart. “Perfect,” he murmured.
He blew a puff of air over her moist skin, making her moan softly. Her moan turned into a muffled shriek as his right hand lifted and the rubber-covered teeth of an alligator clip bit down on her throbbing peak. She shifted her weight from one foot to the other as she struggled to deal with the excruciating sensations of pain coupled with exquisite pleasure.
Then he lowered his head to swirl his tongue around her clamped tip, soothing the sharp pain into something a little more tolerable. He repeated the entire process with her other breast. The second clamp had her squirming, tossing her head, and arching her back as Jesse once again bent to stroke his tongue around her darkening areolas, flicking it across the clips.
Releasing her with a reluctant groan, he attached a sterling silver chain between the two clamps. She watched, bemused, as he hooked something to the chain, supporting the weight of both it and the heavy chain in the palm of his hand. It was the size of a garden variety lead fishing weight, the standard pyramidal shape. Except this weight was anything but standard. It was exquisitely crafted of platinum and the entire surface was encrusted with rare pink diamonds. It was small, as fishing weights went, but she knew that once he released it, it would be heavy enough to exert a significant pull on her already tender nipples. The gemstones sparkled in the sunlight streaming in through the windows, flashing shards of incandescent fire across Jesse’s hand and the creamy skin of her breasts.
“I see you found the Bedazzler,” she murmured, panting slightly in anticipation of the exquisite pain she knew was coming.
“Do I even want to know what that is?”
“Probably not.” She smirked. “If you did, and if, God forbid, word got out, you’d be drummed out of the Super-Hot, Domineering, Badass, Alpha-Male Kaffee Klatsch and Torture Club.”
He grinned. “Yeah, I’d miss their monthly meetings.” He gave the chain a slight tug, eliciting a moan from somewhere deep within her throat. “Eyes on me, Sarah.”
She lifted her gaze to his, her heart beating so fast it was a wonder she didn’t have a stroke. At his steely look, all the moisture in her mouth evaporated, leaving it as dry as Peru’s Atacama Desert.
“Whose are you?” he demanded.
“Yours, Jesse. Yours and Adam’s.”
“Who controls you?”
“Um…” She bit her lip. “You and Adam.”
“Who owns you?”
“The two of you do.”
He closed his eyes for a brief instant, an almost pained expression on his face. When he opened them again, the churning turbulence she’d seen there had cleared, softened. His entire face had softened. He lifted his hand to her cheek. “Who loves you, Sarah?”
Before she could answer, he released the weight.
“Ah-h-h-h-h!” The scream ripped from her before she could stop it. The sharp downward tug on her nipples forced her to suck in a series of short, jagged, hissing breaths through clenched teeth. Okay, that thing may look like a fishing weight, but it feels more like a bowling ball. “You do, Jesse! You and Adam!”
He smirked, reaching for her teal silk blouse. “You sure about that?”
She shot him a murderous look, which, thankfully, he didn’t see. Annoying man.
While she was mincing about from foot to foot, trying to deal with the pain shooting from the tips of her nipples through her entire system, he guided her arms through the sleeves of her blouse, dressing her as if she were a child, buttoning it carefully, making sure to brush his knuckles accidentally on purpose across her clamped nipples so he could enjoy her quivering little cries of agony and ecstasy.
When he finished, he placed a lingering kiss on first one cheek, then the other, both wet with tears of pain. “All right, sugar, listen up. I’ve already told Heather that you’re leavin’ at four. You know the drill. Wait for Adam to come get you. Don’t leave without him, okay, baby?”
“Okay,” she sighed, “but, really, how much longer are we going to have to do this? How can you be sure Ryder Malone is still a threat?”
Ryder Malone. The man who’d just been released from Red Onion prison after serving an eight-year stint for attempted rape. The man whose brutal attack on Sarah that horrible, long-ago day, the day of her eighteenth birthday, had nearly destroyed her. But by some miracle, Jesse had been there, too, appearing out of the blue like an avenging angel, come to the rescue.
Only he’d done more than just rescue her. For one brief moment, holding her in his arms, warmed by her heat, engulfed by her sweet, feminine scent, he’d nearly acted on the hunger and need he’d ruthlessly suppressed ever since she’d turned fifteen, and taken her himself. Lost in a haze of lust, he had brought her to two shattering orgasms with his mouth and fingers before reason had finally grabbed him by the scruff of the neck and shaken some sense back into him, forcing him to back off.
But, by allowing her that brief, tantalizing glimpse into what being loved by him could be like, his subsequent disappearance had devastated her, scooping out her insides until nothing was left of her but an empty husk, hollowed out with grief. Leaving her haunted and lost and vulnerable to abusive predators like her ex-fiancé, Phillip Nugent.
Grim-faced, without answering her, or even looking at her, Jesse focused his entire attention on unfastening her skirt and tucking the tails of her blouse into the waistband. He then rebuttoned and rezipped the skirt, smoothing the badly wrinkled fabric down around her hips and thighs. “Back up a bit, sugar.” As she stepped back, he rose, taking both her hands in his. Lifting them to his mouth, he brushed his lips across the backs of her knuckles. “The clamps are to remain in place until Master Adam removes them.”
“Jesse, please don’t treat me like a child.” She tried, without success, to disguise the frustration in her voice. “I’m a grown woman who is neither stupid nor blind. Granted, you’ve gotten more subtle about it over the past few weeks, but don’t think for one instant that I haven’t noticed that you and Adam continue to choreograph our comings and goings so that I’m never anywhere without one or both of you. Don’t think for one instant that I haven’t figured out that those two extra ‘bailiffs’”—she made air quotes with her fingers—“out in the lobby—you know, the ones who are not bailiffs at all, but a couple of Adam’s operatives? The ones who always dress in black suits and who stand so still they might as well be statues? The ones whose mirrored sunglasses seem to have been surgically attached to their faces? The ones who—”
“Yeah, yeah, I know them. Get to the point, sugar.”
“The point is, I’d be willing to bet that, no matter how still their bodies are, their eyes are never still. That behind those dark glasses, they’re constantly scanning their surroundings and assessing the threat level.” By now she was completely wound up. “The point is, every time I step foot into the lobby, they practically fall all over themselves to help me “carry” my case files back and forth between the courtrooms and my office—case files which, by the way, are strapped to a rolling cart that could be pulled by an arthritic ninety-year-old, therefore not needing to be carried at all—thus placing them in the perfect flanking formation to leap to my defense should I be attacked. Am I going to be attacked, Jesse?”
“Of course not. And they’re the reason why.”
“Because anybody who would even consider attacking the county attorney in the middle of the courthouse would have to be the stupidest person on the face of the planet.”
“Or the most desperate.” The instant the words were out of his mouth, the stricken look that crossed her face ripped through his heart, making him want to call them back. “Sarah…”
She shook her head. “Let me finish, Jesse. I need to get this out. I’d also be willing to bet that in addition to their shoulder holsters, which are obvious, by the way, beneath their suit jackets, they each have another gun tucked into the small of their backs and probably yet another in an ankle holster, plus assorted knives, hand grenades, and flash-bangs—”
“How do you know about flash-bangs?”
“It’s a wonder they don’t clank when they walk.”
“Again, baby, the point?”
She sighed. “They’re just so…damn…conspicuous. They don’t…blend.”
“They’re not supposed to.”
“Then I guess the point is, I want them to. I need them to.”
“And I need them to be so visible that even someone as monumentally stupid as Ryder Malone will stop to consider before even thinkin’ about messin’ with you.”
“They’re scaring me, Jesse.”
“Sarah, if either one of them has ever said or done anythin’ to make you uncomfortable…“
“No, no, that’s not it. They’ve both been perfect gentlemen. It’s just, I guess when I say they’re scaring me, I don’t mean the fact of them, so much. More the idea that you and Adam even think they’re necessary. It’s been over a month since Ryder was released from prison. One month, during which time, I might point out, there have been no threatening letters, emails, phone calls, or incidents.”
Jesse’s lips thinned. “Aren’t you forgettin’ somethin’? Like the total destruction of your bedroom over at Marshall’s Hill? Like the pig’s blood splattered everywhere? Like the message, ‘I’m comin’ for you, bitch, and you’re gonna pay?’ written in blood on your wall? You don’t think that was pretty damn threatenin’?”
“Phillip did that!” she cried, but her tone lacked conviction.
Jesse quirked an eyebrow at her. “We’ve been over this, Sarah. He insists he didn’t. And, much as I hate to say it, I believe him. It’s the only thing that makes sense. He wouldn’t cop to three felony charges—kidnappin’, attempted murder, and investment fraud—and vehemently deny a vandalism misdemeanor.”
She bit her lip, trying not to freak out. She hated this. Hated it. Hated living with the knowledge that at any minute someone could launch an attack against her out of the blue, like an Acme refrigerator suddenly falling out of the sky and flattening her like Wile E. Coyote. She sucked air into the bottom of her lungs, held it there, then released it slowly. “I hate this, Jesse.”
He lifted a hand to caress her cheek with his knuckles. “I know, baby. We hate it, too. Just give us a little more time, okay? We’re gonna get him, I promise.” He leaned forward to place a gentle, lingering kiss on her lips, inhaling her soft floral scent deep into his lungs. His cock, still semi-hard thickened against the zipper of his black cargoes. Christ! If he didn’t get back to his office right now, he’d take her again. Stifling a groan, he buried his face in the sweet curve of her neck, where it met her shoulder.
“So,” she said, striving for a calm she was far from feeling, “bottom line here, Malone’s still a threat?”
“’Fraid so, baby.” He sighed. “We fucked up with Nugent. Never shoulda let you outta our sight. He grabbed you and hurt you, coulda killed you. That’s on us, and I can guaran-damn-tee that it’s not. Gonna. Happen. Again. So, until Malone either leaves the state or does somethin’ stupid enough to get himself arrested, we’re stickin’ to you like glue. Any questions?”
“Do you know where he is?”
“Got a good idea.”
Okay, that would be a no. “Is anyone doing anything about it?”
“Workin’ on it.”
“Okay,” she sighed, knowing that that was all she was going to get out of him. For now. “I guess I can put up with this a little longer.”