Authors: Teresa Noelle Roberts
“You’re a dom,” Jen said. Her voice was quieter than usual, breathy but curiously calm. “I figured out this morning—hell, from that first kiss—that you like to top, but it goes deeper for you. It’s part of who you are, not just what you like in bed.”
He nodded, hoping he didn’t look as pleasantly stunned as he felt. “You know a bit about BDSM and D/s.”
“One of my college roommates was a pro domme to pay for school. Well, she was a domme anyway. That was who she was. But she turned pro because getting paid handsomely to do something you’d do for free beats waiting tables or slaving at retail. We talked a lot. She played with me a few times,” she added casually, “but neither Avi nor I are that into sex with girls, so it never went beyond some spanking and light bondage. It was supposed to slake my curiosity, but it just aroused it more. I’ve never met the right person to do a lot of exploring with—a few curious people like me, but no one who knew what they were doing. Avi used to try to get me to go to scene parties, but that always seemed too deliberate for me. I want to meet someone and find there’s a spark between us and
find out there’s more.”
“Avi…” He rolled the name on his tongue a few times, and suddenly he got a face to match it. A familiar, well-liked face. “Was your college roommate
“Avi to her friends.” Jen sounded a bit defensive. “So I knew what I was doing when you and I played. More or less, anyway. Enough to know that I was intrigued.” Time to fess up, even though he might freak out. “And I…I may have accidentally mentioned your name to her, and she told me you were good people.”
For a second, Drake was silent.
“I know. I was out of line. I shouldn’t have gone spilling your business to other people like that. I was just trying to get advice, because I saw the riding crop, and you
like a dom, and I figured she’d have some pointers so I didn’t make an ass of myself trying something new. But I did anyway.”
He cracked a smile. “Relax. It was the perfect thing to do, even if you didn’t know it.”
“It’s good to get references from a mutual friend when your idea of a good time involves ropes and whips. And Avi’s a friend.”
“Have you met her Johnny?”
“The houseboy who got her to retire from being a pro domme? Only once at a party, where he was being the picture-perfect slaveboy, and I couldn’t get a feel for who he really was.”
“I’m so curious. Slaveboy or boy-toy or whatever she wants to calls him, she’s head over heels with this guy, even if she’s the one who calls all the shots… They just both have a funny way of showing it.” Jen paused and grinned broadly. “And by
, I mean
pretty damn hot.
They both fell silent. Drake couldn’t venture a guess what Jen was thinking, but his own thoughts were something along the lines of
only slightly less articulate. If she’d lived with Avi—let alone played, however lightly, with Avi—Jen didn’t need a full education. He wasn’t sure what all Avi was into. They were both involved in the scene in New York City, but they had no particular reason to discuss their kinks in any detail. She was a smart lady, though, and well-known on the scene, and she’d probably given Jen at least a few pointers about safety.
“So I guess I don’t need to explain safewords?”
She grinned. “Turnip. I can’t use colors. They mean different things to me than they do to most people and I might say the wrong words without meaning to. But who the hell talks about turnips in bed? Okay, maybe Melinda and Rafi do, but they’re cooks at Moosewood.”
Drake tried to restrain his laughter, then he decided there was no need to restrain it. He started to chuckle, trying to keep it sort of moderate. Adult and mature.
That worked for roughly one-point-two seconds. As soon as Jen joined in, throwing her head back and chortling like a kid, her pretty face pink, her hair escaping from the ponytail and wild around her face, Drake was doomed. The absurdity of
as a safeword expanded to the absurd chance of a randomly found tenant being compatible in ways he’d never expected, to the simple pleasure of being in his kitchen sharing coffee with a sexy woman who apparently wanted him, not just as much as he wanted her, but in the same generally kinky way. Joy bubbled out of him, and he laughed like he hadn’t laughed in a long time. And as he did, he had the bizarre realization that his house felt like his home, not his great-aunts’, for the first time since he moved back in nearly three years ago. He’d had friends and colleagues over before in a preplanned way, but he felt like spontaneously sharing coffee with Jen—not just having sex but having coffee and talking—was what made this a home rather than a place to perch.
He had to turn away and pour himself coffee that he didn’t need so he could brush away the tears his laughter had brought out. He’d heard of laughing until you cried but he’d never believed it before. Now he knew it was real, and he didn’t much care for the feeling, a weird mix of emotions he couldn’t harness.
But he did like the feeling of looking at Jen’s happy face.
“So, turnip,” he said, as calmly as possible—which started Jen chuckling and got him going again. “Remember that word,” he went on, forcing his voice to calm. “I want you to feel comfortable using it. It sounds like your experience is limited and I’m likely to push you—in ways you’ll enjoy, I hope. But I don’t want to push you to places you really don’t want to go, or aren’t ready to go yet, even if you might decide you are down the road.”
Her eyes widened. “I’m curious about a lot of things,” she said, her voice softer and smaller than her usual tone. She was answering a question he hadn’t asked yet. Which, if he was following some kind of strict protocol, would be a problem or rather a “problem”, something that wouldn’t actually bother him but would be an excuse for further training—an exciting notion. But since they were talking casually, as equals, he had to admit it was a relief that Jen was initiating one of the touchier parts of the conversation herself. “I obviously like spanking. I’d love to try more along those lines—pain and pleasure. Bondage, both the simple kind and the complicated, artistic stuff—shibi-something.”
“Shibari. Something I’m fond of, in fact.” One of the reasons, besides a training space, that the big, high-ceilinged front room was bare. He’d never had an opportunity to test the hooks and pulleys he’d concealed in the ceiling, though, except suspending himself from them to make sure they were strong enough—and knotting ropes over the hooks and then pulling himself up them hardly counted as fun. More like a workout.
“Shibari,” she repeated, rolling the word off her tongue, savoring it. “But I’d have to pick out the colors of rope, or it’ll make me crazy.”
“Thanks. Now I know how to punish you if you deserve it: clashing rope.”
She giggled. “Oops. Walked right into that, didn’t I? I’ll just have to make sure not to deserve it.”
Another wave of joy burst over him. She might not have a lot of actual experience, but she seemed to get it. “Oh, but you will sometimes. I like rules. I like rules far more than you do, I bet. We’ll talk more about that later—I don’t want you to be late for work—but if we’re going to be involved, I’ll come up with some rules for you to follow. And sooner or later, you’ll break them.”
Jen shook her head, but she was still smiling. “I try to avoid situations with a lot of rules or expectations. I don’t like letting people down, but I’ll get working on something and forget what I’m supposed to be doing. I try to be responsible and organized, but sometimes art can’t wait.” She shrugged as if to say
not my fault
Drake couldn’t say anything too bad about that, since he’d been known to get involved in his work and forget everything but the flow of his thoughts and the shape of the numbers. “I hear you. I’m not thinking about
rules at this point. Playful little rules, and the consequences of forgetting them would be equally playful—fun for both of us. Serious, full-time rules are for serious full-time D/s relationships, and while we seem to be moving pretty fast, we’re not jumping right into that.”
“D/s?” Her face screwed up in puzzlement for a second, then relaxed. “Oh, right, dominant/submissive, and M/s would be master/slave, like Avi and her boy. Yeah, I’m all about the impulsive adventures, but I’m not ready to commit to a lifestyle yet, or to you. Not in that way,” she added quickly, “though committing to exploring with you and seeing where it leads sounds good.”
“Even if we’re not exactly committing, I’d want us not to see anyone else, focus on each other while we figure things out.” He wasn’t sure where that came from. He hadn’t been monogamous for a long time. But he hadn’t been in a relationship with anyone for a long time, either. If he was going to do it, he wanted to give it a real shot, which meant not playing with his various friends in New York and Boston—and Jen not fooling around with anyone she might have been seeing casually.
He hadn’t realized he’d been holding his breath until Jen said, “Makes sense. I’m cool with whatever people do as long as they all agree on it, but I tend to be a one-guy-at-a-time type of woman.” She grinned. “Doing poly right sounds like a full-time job, and I have enough jobs. Relationships should be fun.”
Relationships should be fun. What a concept. He had a lot more he felt like he should ask her, a lot more that they should cover. But they’d have time. Start slowly, with things that she’d already said she’d be into trying, build from there, keep talking.
“One last question…”
“I’m on the pill and I got tested for everything and then some a few months ago—and haven’t done anything that might change my clean bill of health since then. But I’m all for condoms as a precaution.”
“Same with me.” He paused. They’d reached the exciting but awkward point of moving from discussion to action. It was easier when you just forged ahead and damn the consequences! Not a smart idea, but definitely easier.
Jen had been looking intently into his eyes, but now she glanced at the clock on the microwave to his left. “Now that we’ve talked, I’d love to get naked and see what comes up, but I need to allow time to get cleaned up again and head to work. It’s a twenty-minute bike ride.” One hand fiddled with the hem of her shirt as she said it, as if she wanted to peel the shirt off, strip naked and be taken on the kitchen table.
Which would be a great idea if Drake knew the rickety table, a leftover from his great-aunt’s day, could handle it. The counter definitely could. But the toys and rope were in the bedroom, and he had ideas. More ideas than he had time to pursue now. Possibly more than he had time to pursue in a lifetime. But he should be able to follow through on one or two of them. “I’ll give you a ride,” he said. “The bike can go on the roof rack.” He didn’t like the idea of her riding in the dark, especially on a weekend when tipsy students might be behind the wheel, but he wasn’t in a position to make rules about that yet. Especially since she didn’t have a car and he couldn’t promise he’d always be available to drive her or pick her up in the morning.
He stood. “So what are you waiting for? Upstairs, now.” He meant to sound stern and commanding, and there was a bit of that edge to his voice—but he knew he was undercutting it by grinning like a blessed fool.
To make up for the grin—and because he couldn’t imagine circumstances under which he wouldn’t want to—he smacked Jen’s butt as she passed by. She yelped, “Hey!” and turned to glare at him.
Or at least she tried to glare. He could see the struggle on her face as she tried to look miffed. But the glare didn’t last for more than half a second. Her eyes were too soft, her body language too eager, to pull off indignation convincingly.
Instead, her attempt at a glare turned into a dreamy smile. She pivoted in place, leaned over, bracing herself on the counter, and looked back over her shoulder at him as if to say,
Well, what are you waiting for?
“Tempting. Very tempting. But the toys are upstairs. Not to mention the condoms.” Which he’d recently restocked, knowing Jen was moving in. He hadn’t planned on needing them so soon, but
didn’t fit in the same sentence.
Unable to resist the temptation, though, he spanked her once more, enjoying how her ass felt under his hand—firm and soft at the same time. The cotton painter pants were loose but worn enough that they were soft and drapey and transmitted the heat of her skin. Then he made a shooing motion with his hand. She sighed and rolled her hips, and he almost lost his resolve on the spot. It would be easy to wriggle those baggy pants off her, pop off her shirt, ease her out of her panties and bra and finish what he’d started playfully now, and more seriously this morning. The morning had obviously simmered in the back of their minds and their libidos all day. He’d bet she was already slick and hot, and that she’d grip at his cock… A hard, quick, brutal,
fuck to tide them over.
The only thing that kept them both dressed was knowing the condoms were upstairs.
And the rope. He wouldn’t have time for any complicated shibari, especially not with them both as needy and greedy as they were at the moment. He couldn’t speak for Jen, but he might spontaneously combust if he took too much time, and he’d always prided himself on his patience. But bondage seemed to intrigue her, and Lord knew it intrigued him. What would be the best…
He looked at her loose shirt. Yeah, that.
He’d been smiling before, but the mental image made his grin broader, his cock harder. “Come on,” he said. “I have plans for you.”