Authors: Teresa Noelle Roberts
Only this time he wasn’t just nibbling and nipping. He was biting and suckling hard, a fierceness that paralleled the spanking. She saw crimson and purple, gasped at the strong, terrible, wonderful intensity of the sensation. “You’re going to leave marks,” she managed to say, picturing the marks as she said it.
Drake paused long enough to ask, “Is that okay?”
She thought, as best she could, briefly. “Yes.” Then, thinking about the pleasure of seeing black-and-blue bite marks and bruises in the mirror tomorrow, something to help her remember this crazy encounter, “Please. Please. Mark me.”
Drake gave a hard, suckling bite to the side of her breast. The room, her world, turned into a swirling mass of nameless colors, hot glass not yet resolved into a form. She shuddered and bucked. It wasn’t pain and it wasn’t another orgasm, but it had elements of both hurt and fierce, frantic arousal. It was a sense of rightness, of coming home, like she’d wanted to be claimed in this way, by this man, for a very long time.
Which was ridiculous. They hardly knew each other.
Didn’t make it any less real in this moment, though.
Drake released her hands. Rolling them both onto their sides, he scooped her close, pulling her against him, stroking her until her trembling subsided.
She sighed, “That was…” Then she stopped, at a loss for the right word.
“Intense?” he asked. “Insane?”
“Yes and yes. It was a lot, but it feels like it was even more than it was. Does that make sense?”
Drake kissed the top of her head, and it was another one of those of “a lot more” moments, weighted in a way Jen didn’t understand. “Yes, as much as any of this does. I can’t explain it…can’t explain any of this.”
She caught an undertone. “And that bothers you, doesn’t it? It’s not an equation you can solve for X.”
He sighed and pulled her even closer. “Got it in one. And by the same token, I bet you like knowing there’s something going on you can’t quite put a finger on.”
“The unknown is where you find art. This is going to be quite the adventure.”
He kissed her forehead again. “I thought today would be a little fooling around to get it out of our systems before we started worrying about whether it was more. Didn’t mean for it to go this far, let alone in this direction.”
“The best adventures start when you don’t expect them. That’s why they’re adventures.”
“Do I seem like a man who likes adventures?”
She rolled up onto her elbows and studied him seriously—the gray eyes, the neat mustache and beard, the curiously sexy silver in his sandy hair. “Yes, in secret. You must have read
—you’re a geek.”
He nodded. “I see where you’re going with this. I want to deny it, but you may be on to something.”
“You’re Bilbo Baggins, only taller and much sexier, and thank God, without the furry feet. You’ve almost convinced yourself you’re a quiet homebody, but part of you is a rogue.”
“I draw the line at dragons. And definitely no Gollum.”
“Good thing you needed a tenant, Drake. You also ended up with a guide to adventure.”
Drake grabbed her wrist. “Only if you can guide me by following my lead.”
“I knew it was going to be that kind of a trip.” She managed to keep her voice level, though it was an effort. “Stop me if I’m wrong, but this is going to be an adventure involving rope and leather.”
“Maybe. That depends on you.”
She grinned. “Definitely. And for that kind of trip, I’ll let you lead. But I’ll hold your hand so neither of us gets lost.”
“Better yet. I’ll tie us together.”
Drake stroked Jen’s hair, holding her still-vibrating body, and wondered how the hell he’d gotten here. How he’d ended up on a bare mattress, still set askew on the box springs, cuddling a naked woman he’d just dropped into as profound a sub-space as he’d seen in ages with a little fairly light play. How he found himself nodding at the notion of further possibilities with a near-stranger.
Okay, it had been more than “a little bit of play”, even though no rope or toys were involved and he was still fully clothed, his cock painfully hard against his zipper and against the sweet curve of Jen’s body. He’d managed to restrain himself from shouting,
before he left that angry, delicious mark on the heavy curve of her left breast—but he’d definitely thought it.
thought anything like that before with any of his play-partners.
He’d tied plenty of women up in elaborate shibari bondage, beat them, teased them until they begged for mercy, ordered their every move during their time together—and he’d enjoyed every minute of it. But he’d never felt that sense of possession, that sense of being in control of the situation and yet out of control of his own heart, the way he did marking Jen’s breast.
Not even the time he’d done an elaborate play piercing culminating with a carefully carved S for SLUT onto a woman’s breast, at her request. It had been bone-chillingly terrifying and mind-meltingly hot at the same time. She’d come under the knife, and he’d come with her lips on his cock and her blood still on his gloved hands. And then they’d gone for breakfast at an all-night diner, had a few laughs, and gone their separate ways, except for the occasional call or e-mail, until the next time he was in New York and their schedules aligned.
That was how it had always been for him. He’d play with someone, and it would be great, but it wouldn’t be a relationship. At most, there’d be texting and e-mailing of teasing suggestions now and then, when he and the lady in question weren’t too busy with what he called Real Life. He’d never met someone he wanted as a full-time sub or slave, someone he could claim and own within the boundaries of a BDSM relationship, though he’d certainly considered the possibility in an abstract way. Okay, fantasized about the possibility, but without a face for the nameless woman, just that it would be fun to have someone in that role someday. He’d rarely had the urge to have a full-time girlfriend. It would be great to have someone to share his life, in theory, but sharing your life was messy. Hard to control. Led to emotional explosions and revelations of the sort he didn’t like.
When he did play with someone, he negotiated carefully first, making sure they were on the same page. He didn’t want surprises, didn’t want to harm anyone while he was hurting them, didn’t want to misunderstand what they wanted and end up with a damaged reputation, or worse yet, a damaged lover.
He’d seen that before. He wasn’t going there.
Except he’d come perilously close to doing it just now. Luckily, Jen’s response was
hot sexy fun with a guy I like
scary asshole who deserves to be kicked in the nuts and possibly arrested.
But he’d had no way of knowing that except a gut instinct that she was a submissive or at least a bottom, wanting to be on the receiving end of strong sensation even if she didn’t want to give up control.
Why the hell had Jen gotten to him this way? Why did she make him throw caution to the winds and act like a stereotypical Asshole Dom, making assumptions, making decisions for her without knowing her, pushing her without negotiation? Sure, in their limited interaction it had worked. But that was just luck. They needed to talk. Needed to make sure they were on the same page.
Or maybe he just needed to run away.
He shook his head against that thought. Too late for that now, considering they were sharing a house and he’d just jumped her. This was either going to be a relationship of some kind or it would be an awkward year spent tiptoeing around each other, but he’d started this—whatever it turned out to be. Whether it would be a disaster or a revelation (or both—he doubted the two were binary), he had to face it.
“You make me feel like a sixteen-year-old, all hormones and no brain to speak of,” he said quietly.
Jen’s voice was dreamy, like she was talking from between the stars. “Yeah. Ain’t it great?”
“Except at sixteen I couldn’t have imagined the stuff I’m imagining doing with you now—and before you ask, I wasn’t an especially naive sixteen-year-old.” Far from it. Despite the geek stereotype that Drake knew he projected, he’d never been sexually naive. Growing up in his father’s house hadn’t allowed for naiveté. But long before sixteen, he’d set his boundaries, having seen what out-of-control dominance could do. And he hadn’t reset them until Jen Kessler appeared on his doorstep and shook the foundations of his world.
“I’m not normally like this. I don’t grab women and start having sex with them—and we were having sex, even if I kept my pants on. I’m not a particularly nice person. A good one, I think, but not a nice one. I can be cruel and domineering and possessive, and some of the things I think are erotic, many people find alarming. But I keep it under control. I came really close to losing control with you, and I’m sorry.”
Jen sat up, the dreaminess gone from her voice as if he’d dumped cold water on her. “Did you hear the word
cross my lips?”
He shook his head.
“Did you get any hint from my words or my responses that I wasn’t willing? Hell, that I wasn’t excited and eager and having a great time? Did you miss the massive orgasm? I don’t think I was being subtle about it, but if you like, I’ll do a replay á là
When Harry Met Sally
“Pretty hard to miss.” Troubled as he was, he couldn’t help smiling at the memory of how she’d melted.
“And I was busy floating away on a wave of lust, but I remember you asking if it was all right to keep on spanking me.”
“But I started before I asked.” Words tangled in his head. They did that sometimes. Numbers were a language that made sense to him, allowed him to communicate elegantly within their limits and with people who also spoke mathematics, but English sometimes confounded him. “That was wrong. It’s my responsibility to take care of you.”
As soon as the words passed his lips, he knew they’d come out wrong. He’d meant something like,
It’s a dom’s responsibility to take care of a sub during a scene, to help her feel safe while she’s pushing her limits
but what he’d said didn’t make a lot of sense.
And it was apparently just the wrong thing to say to this particular woman in this particular moment. She snapped, “I have a father. He’s twice your age and not nearly as cute, and he’s the only man who has
had the responsibility of taking care of me. Which he hasn’t had since I turned eighteen and moved out, though he still thinks it’s his job. He’s my dad, so he can get away with that illusion. You can’t. I’m a big girl. I make my own choices.”
“I know that.” He thought long enough to find better words that were clear enough to make sense. “The thing is, I like to play in a way that takes away some of your choices. It seems that you like that too. But I didn’t know that for sure when we started. If I didn’t cross any lines, it was dumb luck. I owe you an apology for the way this happened.” He coughed. Honesty compelled him to add, “I don’t want this to sound like I’m sorry that we played. I’m not. I acted like an asshole, and I
sorry about that.”
She took a deep breath, and some of the angry fire died out of her eyes. “It’s sweet that you’re concerned. I hadn’t expected us to move so fast, except in fantasies. I certainly hadn’t expected us to move in the direction we did so soon, though it wasn’t a complete surprise. You give off that vibe, you know? I’m sure you have more experience with this kind of kinky rough-play-and-control thing than I do, and maybe we ignored some rules or guidelines. But we both have mouths, Drake. We both have brains. We could have stopped at any time and said,
Let’s talk about this
, and we didn’t because we were having fun.”
“No buts. No harm, no foul.” She kissed him on the forehead, clearly conciliating, as if she still didn’t understand the depths of his concern but wasn’t upset herself. “So do we have that talk now, or do I get your clothes off and have my wicked way with you? Or whatever the right wording would be. I have a feeling you might prefer to be having your wicked way with me.”
Drake’s cock had subsided when they began talking, pushed down by his vague guilt. Now it sprang back to life, making him want to take Jen at her word and spend the rest of the day playing and fucking, maybe stopping long enough to order a pizza or some Chinese.
But that was a bad idea. He knew it as well as he knew two plus two equaled four. “I’d enjoy that way too much,” he said. “We need to talk first. And right now we’re not clearheaded enough to trust our own judgment.”
At least it was the case for him. Once again, he realized he’d said a true thing in the exact wrong way. Jen pulled away from him and sat on the bed, chin on her knees. “Oh really? I can’t speak for you. I’m not going to speak for you, because that’s not right. But my judgment’s just fine, and right now it’s telling me you
a bit of an asshole. Just not in the way you were concerned about.” She glared at him. “I don’t need you to worry about me or put words in my mouth. And I don’t need you not trusting my judgment.”
Drake gaped. There was so much he should say about a dom’s responsibility, about the importance of consent…about the fact he trusted her but needed boundaries in place in order to trust himself. But he knew he was too heated to say those words in a way that wouldn’t make things worse.
Doms could drop too, get into a strange, spaced-out, emotionally vulnerable state. Drake kept himself under tight control, but it had finally happened to him. It hadn’t been an intensely kinky scene, yet something about it had gotten him rattled.