Friday, December 28, 2012

93 THE DUNGEON


~Chapter 93~
THE DUNGEON

HE
“…I believe you’ll find what you’re looking for right through this door.”

Their footsteps get closer; my cock twitches with wild anticipation. Not yet, buddy.

“How’d it go, sweetheart?” Her face is flushed and I can’t tell if it’s from alcohol, her conversation with Marcus, or her first visit to a real-life dungeon.

“It was great.” She falls into my open arms and presses her face into my neck. Oh boy. I look over at Marcus and he’s grinning from ear to ear.

“Your girlfriend would like a tour of the play room, and I told her you are well acquainted with my equipment.”

I chuff at his innuendo. “I need an hour.”

Marcus quirks his eyebrow at the urgency of my tone. “My overnight guest arrives in forty-five minutes.”

“You know you love making them wait.” Isabella keeps her face planted against my shirt and I pull her even tighter against my body. She has to feel my need.

“Hmm,” Marcus teases, “you’re sounding pretty desperate.”

“Old man, I passed desperate an hour ago. Do you really want to be responsible for sending me out in public like this?”

His all-knowing eyes sweep my body, but the most prominent evidence of my current state of affairs is conveniently hidden from his view by my girlfriend’s hip—providing me with just enough friction to keep me from losing my mind.

“Aw hell, Edward, you know I could never resist your begging.”

“I remember.” Maybe that was taking unfair advantage of his weakness for me, but he’s right—I am a desperate man.

“Have fun, kids,” he finally acquiesces, turning and waving over his head.

“Hey, Marcus!”

He spins around. “You bellowed, young apprentice?”

“Shut the damn cameras off.”

Marcus cups both hands over his heart. “You wound me, grasshoppa.”

He pulls the heavy door closed behind him, leaving the two of us alone in the dungeon. Isabella turns her face to me and I close my lips over hers without hesitating. Her tongue tastes like wine. I trace my fingers down her throat until they meet the first button of her blouse. Not yet.

“Ready for your tour?”

Her eyes are bright with excitement as she nods. “I am so ready.”

Her enthusiasm makes me chuckle. I draw an imaginary circle around her neck as she waits patiently. “No collar tonight, just the two of us taking a spin through a new sandbox together, okay?”

Isabella nods and licks her lips. “I’ve had a couple glasses of wine,” she whispers.

My knuckles brush lightly over her pink cheeks, and I give her a grin. “Noted.”

With my girlfriend eager and tipsy, I lace my fingers through hers and commence the tour.

she
“I’m sorry we don’t have time to sample all the equipment tonight, Isabella, but here’s something I know you won’t want to miss. This is the Master’s Spanking Chair.”

Edward pulls me to a halt in front of a high-backed cherry wood seat fitted with a luxurious cushion of deep brown leather—obviously designed for the Master’s comfort.

I reach a tentative finger out to stroke the wood. Two retractable arms  with various-sized holes sit flush with the chair back. “What are these for?”

Edward squeezes my hand. “I was hoping you’d ask.” He slips into the chair and makes a minor adjustment to the seat height so that his knees are comfortably bent with his feet flat on the floor. “Hop aboard,” he says, grinning broadly, and with my heart pounding hard against my ribs, I arrange myself on my stomach across his lap.

“The Master might be quite content to spank you this way,” he says, bracing me with a strong hand at my lower back before striking me through my jeans. It’s muffled by the heavy denim, but I am so turned on right now, I feel the tingle right to my core.

“Don’t get me wrong…” he hits me again, “there’s nothing wrong with this…” POP! “but watch what happens when I do…this.”

He lowers half of the accessory arm near my head and now I have a very good idea how those holes function. “Put your wrists right here…and here…that’s it, now scoot up and place your neck  right there, eyes to the floor, yes.” The other half of the arm closes over my neck and wrists, and he twists the hardware to lock me in place.

“How does that feel?”

There’s ample cushioning around my neck, but it’s cozy. More importantly, I feel trapped and vulnerable. I also have no ability to control my weight distribution and my breasts are now entirely squished against his thigh. My hair has formed a blinding curtain around my face, and my field of vision is limited to the small section of concrete just below me. How does it feel?

“Slightly terrifying,” I answer him honestly.

A calming hand travels up my back, massaging at the base of my neck just below the wood prison.

“Give it a minute,” he says much more gently, without a trace of the smirk in his voice. “The stockade is an acquired taste…but I have no doubt you will acquire the taste for it, sweet Isabella.” His thumb brushes back and forth along my skin, and I draw in a few deep breaths until I feel more grounded. “There you go.”

He surprises me by sliding his hand down the top of my jeans, finding the bare skin on either side of my thong. He kneads my flesh gently, both relaxing me and inflaming my desire. His fingers ride up my side, inside my button-down shirt, caressing and teasing the sides of my compressed breasts. All the while, that other hand stays with me, soothing, reassuring, understanding where I am and what I need.

My hips squirm as he hints at tickling the hollows under my arm. “All that wiggling around right there, Isabella? On any other day, that would earn you a sound spanking.” He manages to tweak my nipple before deciding he’s through with this torture. “I think that’s enough for now.”

He releases me from the stockade and helps me off his lap. “Let’s go peruse the whips and crops, shall we?”

A fierce spike of desire takes me as Edward steers me with a subtle touch at my lower back. I know he’s watching my every response; my thong is slick with moisture, and I imagine my first time in the dungeon is nearly as exciting for him as it is for me.

“Go ahead, you can touch anything you want.”

He steps up behind me, his hard body just barely brushing my back, and traces a finger down my arm. The goosebumps that just settled down pop right back to life. I reach for the whip on the first hook. The ornate, braided handle feels smooth in my hand, and I pull the lengths of leather strips between my fingers. I’ve never seen one of these in person, but I’ve certainly watched videos of girls at the receiving end—not necessarily a place I’d like to find myself.

“You picked the deer hide,” he informs me, wrapping his hand around mine and taking charge of the whip and me in one maneuver. Holding my head in place, he shakes the leather strips along the side of my face. “Feels like velvet, right?”

I nod slowly, not desiring to end up with lash marks on my face.

“Don’t worry, sweetheart. This isn’t the flogger to fear. No cuts or bruising with this one, just a whole lot of thud and a bit of a tingle.”

“Its bark is worse than its bite?”


“You could say that.”

He moves both our hands to hook the handle back on the wall.

“Now…this one, on the other hand,” Edward says with a sinister chuckle, “you do not want to find out how this one feels.” He slides down about six hooks and pulls off a basic-looking black leather whip. “See how it has fewer tresses? This is a cat, and you’re going to get a sharper, more punishing blow off this one.”

He suddenly snaps the whip against the wall, and I yelp in surprise. As freaked out as I am by the idea of being whipped, the vision of my Master wielding the implement with such grace and expertise leaves me weak-kneed. He smirks when he reads my expression. “Would you like to see that again?”

“Yes, please,” I whisper cautiously.

His eyes dance as he rolls up his sleeves to the elbow, readies the whip, and snaps his wrist with a crisp motion that sends the leather into the wall with a sharp swoosh. Seeing my Master in this new place—one where he is totally confident and clearly proficient—allows me to appreciate his competence in a way I couldn’t have before. He is Master of this realm, and I have never felt more like a novice, despite my apparent gains. He’s the beautiful peacock erecting his tail feathers and strutting around the yard, and I’m the helpless peahen soaking my panties and praying for the chance to drop to my knees and take him into my mouth.

“Better the wall than your bottom, sweetheart. You can well trust me on that.” He coils up the long tresses and returns it to the wall. “What else catches your fancy, Isabella?”

There’s a shorter whip toward the end, and the material looks entirely different from the others. “Rubber?” I ask him, squeezing the short strips between my fingers.

“Another great choice,” he smiles, lifting the short, light whip from the wall. “Yes, it’s rubber. In a longer whip, rubber can be extremely harsh—a real bang for the Master’s buck.” He laughs at his own scary joke. “But in miniature, it can actually be quite sensual in your tastiest areas.” His eyes drop to my chest and then lower. He slips the loop over his wrist and says, “I think I’ll hold onto this one.”

I get the sense he’s rushing me through the selection of crops, and I can’t concentrate anyway with that little rubber whip hanging off his arm. With three crops to go, his impatience seeps out.

“You just about ready to meet St. Andrew?”


HE
For all my careful planning, I was a real dope not knowing tonight would end up with her strapped to the cross. I mean, seriously…how could it not? I would’ve done so many things differently, including strongly suggesting a front-closing bra and no panties.

Alas, here we are, no obstacle too big to overcome; it simply requires some last-minute quick thinking—an audible, if you will. Ugh, the Superbowl needs to hurry up and come and go already so I can get these damn metaphors out of my head.

Being in the dungeon as Isabella’s boyfriend is beginning to pose a challenge for me, not that she’s ever minded having an incredibly bossy boyfriend. It’s just that I feel myself slipping naturally into the role I was born to play in the dungeon, and I have to keep cautioning myself that we’re not in scene; it wasn’t the plan, neither of us is prepared, and we don’t have the proper time for it.

I steer her so she’s facing the large wood and iron structure, and I position myself behind her. “Here it is, the famous St. Andrew’s Cross of fame and fable. What do you think?”

“It’s impressive.”

“You think it’s impressive from this angle, wait till I strap you in.” I reach my hands around her and start unbuttoning her blouse. “It’s not nearly as much fun with your clothes on, and I do want you to get the full effect.”

She clears her throat then says, “You are the ever-considerate boyfriend.”

I toss her shirt across the sawhorse and unclasp her bra. Isabella stands perfectly still as the straps slide over her shoulders and down her arms. She’s covered in goose flesh, and I’m sure I’ll find her nipples reaching straight for the equipment when I view her from the front—but not yet.

Pulling her bare back against my shirt, I manage her belt buckle, button and zipper. Conscious of the time Marcus has generously allotted, I take her thong along with the jeans as I drag the material to the ground. It’s a little tricky unzipping her boots and negotiating her knee socks, but I manage, and the reward more than makes up for the effort.

I draw my finger over her collar bone, down the length of her breast, and to the very pointy end of her nipple. She gasps as I brush my fingertips over the sharp nub. “Step forward.”

She advances her feet on the cool, concrete floor.

“Turn around and line up your ankles with the cuffs.”

She does as she’s told, and I quickly bend and fasten her in.

“Now, your wrists.”

Isabella looks above her head and stretches her arms in a wide V. She naturally arches her back as it hits the cold metal, but once I strap her in with the thick leather waist restraint, there’s no wiggle room for her to escape. While I’m still standing close enough to gauge every response, I ask, “How does it feel to be bound and spread?”

Her lip quivers, reminding me how intense this experience has to be for her.

“Exciting,” she answers in a breathy voice.

I kiss her forehead and back away. “For me too, sweetheart. Trust me, you have me good and worked up.” She settles in a bit after hearing that I’m suffering, too.

Deftly sliding the rubber whip from my wrist, I brush her left tit before she has a chance to brace herself. Though she’s flinched and gasped, I’m sure the impact wasn’t anything near what she expected. She’s staring down the whip, waiting for the next stroke, her body tensed and anxious.

“This little whip is designed for pleasure. Tip your chin up and find a spot on the ceiling to focus on. Okay, now unclench your teeth and relax your jaw…that’s it…just let me work on your body.” I swish the tresses over the other breast, and without the anxiety, she gives me a nice, “Ahhhh.”

“Feels good, doesn’t it?”

“Mmm,” she hums and moans as I alternate between left and right, coaxing her toward the cliff.

Swish, swish, I brush her tits, watching her face contort with mad desperation. Droplets of moisture leak from her lower lips. If I had more time, I could leave her wanting, let her cool down, and start all over again. Alas, we’re on a tight schedule here.

“Are you ready to feel the whip between your legs?”

She’s floaty and drunk from the wine and the mini-flogger, but her face still turns to me with a significant measure of fear. I step closer and place one hand on her thigh, continuing to gently swipe one breast, then the other.

“Isabella, I promise I won’t hurt you. I am completely in control of what you’re feeling, and I know how to make it feel really, really good.”

She nods briefly then tips her head back again.

Thank you for trusting me yet again.

“On the count of three, I’m going to strike you, and these rubber tendrils are going to feel like you’re being fingered by ten men at once. Are you ready for the onslaught?”

“Okay.”

I have to smile just a little at her lack of enthusiasm. She has no idea what’s about to hit her, but I do.

“One…” Still slapping against her breasts… “Two…” Slap, slap… “Three!”

With that, I snap the rubber tendrils once between her legs and she quivers and groans. I strike her a second time, dragging the tresses through her slick channel as she moans through the brief contact. I give her a few seconds to recover before hitting her once more, this time the bulk of the rubber lands square on her clit, sending her into spasms of unstoppable bliss.

I toss the whip to the side and drop to my knees between her legs, taking her quivering pussy into my mouth. My own need presses painfully against my jeans, and time is running short.

she
 “Why do I feel like we’re going to end up on the eleven o’clock news?” I dissolve into giggles, and I really don’t know whether to blame the wine, the post-orgasmic endorphins zipping through my system, or the extremely embarrassing position my body is in.

“You are not going to fall; I’ve got you.”

Suspended from the ceiling by a pulley on each side, my legs are spread wide and held several feet off the ground by a loop of surprisingly comfortable nylon around the top of each thigh, balanced by a similar loop around each wrist. Edward has thoughtfully modified the advanced sex swing setup by adding a safety strap under my bottom. In addition, he is clutching me by the waist and has already assured me that even if I were to slip and drop backwards, my head would not reach the ground.

“The only reason we’d end up on the news is that I’m about to burst into flames. Do you have any idea what you’re doing to me tonight?”

I giggle again, and this time I know why—sheer happiness. “Okay, I’m ready.”

“Oh, thank Christ,” he says, pulling my hips toward his raging erection and exhaling with a loud groan once his balls hit my ass. “Is it good, Isabella?” he asks urgently, sliding out and back in.

“Yes, it’s really good.” So much for giggles; this is some serious fucking right here, all of a sudden.

Edward’s humor is suddenly erased as well, as his face contorts into that of a man who is operating on basic animal instinct. He needs; therefore, he takes. I love this position not just because of the angle he’s entering me, but also because I can see every snarl and flare of his nostril, watch every grunt issue forth from his beautiful dangerous mouth, and watch the muscles of his chest ripple and pop between the sides of his open shirt.

At first, it’s just him moving and thrusting, while I’m the gymnast on the steady rings, garnering points for keeping still. Before long, though, I’m actually swinging forward and back, slamming into his body with additional force and adding a dizzying aerial element to our acrobatic act. After the initial few thrusts, Edward seems to relax a bit, his eyes unpinching and his smile coming back in full bloom as he orchestrates our combined movements like the ringleader of a very adult circus.

“Feels pretty crazy, doesn’t it?” he utters breathlessly.

“Yes!”

“Drop your head back if you want a real rush.”

It’s pretty scary, but I close my eyes and tilt my head backward. I feel Edward’s grip constrict around my hips, and I hold on tighter to my wrist restraints. I squeak when he pulls me forward and I get that wobbly feeling in my belly. He pulls me against him harder and faster, and I swim in the sensations hitting me from every angle—inside and out. Edward’s grunting becomes louder and more insistent as our skin slaps together and he plunges deep within me. I’m tethered to reality only by the one place our bodies are joined while the rest of me simply floats. Thankfully, Edward clutches me against his body as the waves of pleasure ripple through me and threaten to knock me off balance.

My legs feel like rubber as he unhitches me from the suspension belts and my feet hit the concrete once again. I fall forward into his chest, and his laughter shakes both of us. “Not easy to get your sea legs back, eh?”

“No. I think you better hold me close for a good, long while.”

He makes a show of sighing heavily. “If I must.”

“You must.”

“Okay, boss, but we need to get you dressed and scoot out of here, or Marcus won’t be so willing to let us borrow his dungeon the next time.”

I crane my neck up to look into his eyes. “Next time?”

Two glinty green orbs sparkle back at me. “Next time, I’m bringing your damn collar and arranging for more time.”

“I’m afraid you’re not helping the wobbly leg situation very much.”

“Sorry,” he chuckles. “Can you make it over to the sawhorse on your own while I find my pants?”

I slide out of his arms. “I think you’ll find them halfway between the cross and the swing.”

“Jesus, look what we did to this place in just an hour,” he muses.

My thong is so soggy it’s not even worth putting on, so I stuff it into my handbag after rushing into my jeans and top and pulling a couple fingers through my hair. Edward gathers me under his arm and tosses the rubber whip into a bucket near the door as we exit. “We’re like a kinky hurricane.”

“Hurricane Isabedward.” 

“God help the East Coast.”

Marcus is sitting on the couch when we pass through the living room. The door to his office is closed, and I can only imagine the state of the submissive held captive inside.

“Sorry, I didn’t have time to wash the whisk,” Edward says.

Marcus rolls his eyes. “You don’t look sorry to me.” His gaze clicks over to mine. “Et tu, Brute?”

I shrug. “Sorry?”

Marcus chortles and waves us to the door. “Go already! Your driver’s been out there for fifteen minutes. I was considering bringing him some hot cocoa.”

I giggle at the idea of Domenic and Marcus having a driveway meet-up; it’s so very wrong. Edward gives Marcus one last wave. “Thanks, man. I’ll call you.”

Marcus nods obligingly, standing and heading over to his study. At the last minute, I pull away from Edward and scurry back to Marcus. He pauses—his hand on the door knob—and lifts his eyebrow.

“I just wanted to say thank you as well…and if it’s okay with you…and Edward…do you think I could give you a hug?”

Marcus looks over my shoulder, so I turn back as well. Edward smiles and nods. “Keep it clean, old man.”

Marcus opens his arms and laughs. “Another boundary…great.”

I step inside his embrace and whisper, “Thank you again,” into his ear.

“My pleasure, sweet Bella. You keep me posted, okay?”

“Will do.”

Edward extends a hand and I happily transition from one man to the other, feeling all kinds of fortunate.

HE
“So how was the mall?” Isabella asks him while scooting across the back seat to make room for me.

Domenic laughs good-naturedly. “Tell you the truth, Bella, it’s a little bit depressing this time of year. The whole place looks like my living room the day after a big party—it’s clean and all, but you get the sense the fun’s just left. I did have some fancy frozen yogurt from a spigot in the wall, so that was good, I suppose.”

“There you go.” Isabella sighs and snuggles into my side.

Negotiating knit cap and scarf, I touch my lips to her forehead. “Tired?”

“Exhausted, in the best possible way. You?”

“I’m gonna sleep like a baby tonight.”

Her voice drops to a whisper, “It’s pretty hard work for you, isn’t it? All that restraining and supporting and whipping.”

“Mmhmm.” I can’t stop the smile. “Don’t get me wrong—I’m not complaining.”

“Do you miss it?” she asks timidly, cocking her eyes up to meet mine.

“What?” The life? The other girls? Hell no.

“The dungeon. All those toys and all the possibilities.”

“I love the fact that you and I can turn any place into our play room, but the equipment certainly offers advantages. Assuming one is properly taught how to use the implements and furniture—which you know I was—it’s a whole lot easier to put your submissive into the right position on a whipping bench than it is to try to recreate that using a dining room chair.”

“You seem to have made the transition successfully.”

“Yes, with a lot of practice. As for the floggers, Marcus was very strict with me, and I’m a far better dom for it. I know how to use each one to get the exact effect I need, but not everyone is treated to that level of training. You should never, EVER—”

“Edward,” she interrupts me softly, placing two fingers over my lips, “if this is where you warn me off other doms, you can just please save your breath.” I respect her wishes and nod. “Thank you.”

“Sorry, I guess I climbed onto my soapbox there for a second.”

“I’m not interested in imagining myself with another dom, okay?”

“I’m not interested in imagining that either, trust  me.”

“Okay.”

“So…can I assume that things went well with Marcus since you needed to hug him goodbye?”

Her face twists into a lighthearted smile. “Are you fishing, Edward?”

“I mostly just want to know if you’re pleased with the arrangement, but if you care to share anything…I wouldn't be averse to hearing what you talked about.”

Thankfully, her smile stays in place, and without moving her eyes from mine, she calls out to the front, “Domenic, would you mind very much raising the divider?”

This bodes well for me, unless she’s planning to start screaming at me for being a nosy bastard.

“No problem at all, Bella.”

I shit about a brick and a half waiting for the glass wall to rise to the roof of the car, and Isabella straightens up and shifts her body toward me on the seat.

“First off, I am very pleased with the arrangement. You were right about Marcus; he’s great, and he knows the kind of person you are, and he gets us. It was incredibly easy talking to him.”

“The tequila and wine didn’t hurt,” I add with a chuckle.

“I think it will be easier next time, but I definitely needed something to help me over the hump.”

“So you were able to open up a bit?”

“More than I thought I could. We talked about why you can’t share your checklist with me and reinforced everything you’ve said about what I deem to be my failure…”

She pulls her lower lip between her teeth, but her face doesn’t register pain this time when the subject is brought up. “So it’s clicking for you? That I’m truly not disappointed?”

“Yes, I get it, but I feel like it’s still out there as something I want to work on.”

My cock is all of a sudden very interested in this conversation, the selfish prick. In possibly the most understated response I’ve ever given her, I answer, “Noted,” and even mange to hold in my smirk.

She, however, does not restrain her smile. “I had a feeling you’d be okay with that.”

I let loose a chuckle. “Yes, sweetheart, I’m more than okay with that. Is there anything else you want me to know about?”

There’s one beat too many between my question and her answer, and now I know she’s keeping something back, and I need to not be an asshole about it. Luckily, she acknowledges the elephant in the back seat, so I don’t have to worry—too much. “There is something else, but I’d really like to talk to you when I’m not so tired and we’re both not so sober.”

I can’t help that my eyebrows lift or that I get a nervous rush of adrenaline from head to toe. I’m not going to be able to wait very long for this…whatever it is. “How about we have this talk over dinner tomorrow night then?”

Her tension breaks and she exhales loudly. “Perfect.”

“It’s a date then.”

“Yes, and Edward…we better eat at home.”

Motherfucker.

Friday, December 21, 2012

92 MENTOR


~Chapter 92~
MENTOR

she
“Domenic, are you sure you don’t mind coming back for us at ten?”

“Not at all, Edward, it’s my pleasure. I rarely get to see the two of you anymore, and it’s the missus’ Canasta night, so I’m on my own. I’ll just head on over to the Short Hills Mall while you two visit your friend.”

“Okay, thanks, man. Later then.” Edward leans down to wave through the back seat before shutting the door. As the car pulls away, Edward turns his full attention back to me. “Hey…you okay?”

“Sure.”

Edward places his hands on my shoulders and looks me in the eye. Though it’s dusk, the light of a nearby post lamp tells him everything he needs to know. “You’re nervous.”

“I…” It’s no use trying for the brave face; I haven’t successfully kept a single emotion from him since we met, and this is no time to start. “Either that or there is an actual herd of elephants in my stomach.”

“Isabella, ultimately, this is your call. If you don’t want to go in, I’ll call Domenic back right now.”

“No, I definitely do want this, but you’re right—I’m really, really nervous.”

Edward looks over his shoulder toward the front door, and when he turns back, his face reflects all the same anxiety that I’m feeling. “I remember my first time walking up this path.” His head shakes at the memory.

“I can’t even imagine how that must’ve felt. You were coming as a submissive; I’m just here as a mentee.”

“It was easily the most intimidating first meeting of my life.”

“You’re trying to help me, right?”

“Yes,” he chuckles, “sorry. It was intimidating, yes, but Marcus is kind of brilliant. He kept me on edge because that’s where he needed me. That’s not necessary with you. He has this other side…” Edward’s voice drops off and a wistful look settles on his features. “Marcus gets it. I know it sounds weird as hell to say this, but he’s one of the most compassionate people I’ve ever met.”

“Edward, that doesn’t sound weird to me at all. Being a great dom requires that, don’t you think? That’s what makes you so amazing at it.”

“Thanks, baby.” He closes his lips over mine. “Shall we?”

He swings around to my side and clasps my hand in his, leading me to the door.

“Ready?” he grins.

“I seriously doubt it.”

Edward’s free hand flies to the back of his head and he grimaces. 

His restlessness is unsettling as hell. “What’s that for?”

“I don’t want to rush you or anything, but it’s not generally a good idea to keep Marcus waiting.”

“Jeez.” Half a second later, my finger is on the bell.

There’s a clatter of metal clicks, a final lurch of my guts, and a sweep of the substantial door. The elephant stampede gathers force, and I lean into the security of my boyfriend-slash-Master combo. I’m startled when Marcus turns his deep blue eyes and warm smile to me and addresses me directly for the first time. “Hello, Isabella.”

Not only does his greeting take me by surprise, but his clothing is not at all what I was expecting. Though I’d only seen him dressed elegantly, I realize now that I’d conjured a Dom ready for action—adorned in black from muscle shirt to combat boots—but the man in front of me is dressed in designer jeans and a thin, black crewneck sweater. I feel a gentle squeeze around my hand, drawing my attention to Edward’s face. He lifts his eyebrows and tips his chin subtly toward the man standing with one hand extended toward me in unreciprocated greeting.

Fantastic. I’ve messed up already.

I offer my hand before remembering I’m wearing a glove and retract it just as quickly. “Sorry,” I mutter under my breath, yanking off the leather as swiftly as possible and finally resting my hand in his. “Hello, er…Sir?”

Marcus watches all this with great amusement then clasps his other hand over mine and corrects me. “Marcus, just Marcus.” His hands are as warm as his demeanor, and the elephants slow their roll.

“And you can call her Bella,” Edward cuts in severely, drawing Marcus’s attention and consequently, mine. Bella, his I’m-not-sharing name for me.

“Okay, boundary number one firmly established,” Marcus agrees amiably. “Would you two like to come in?”

He releases my hand and more or less sweeps me inside, pulling Edward into a tight guy-hug.

“Thanks for seeing us.”

“Always a pleasure, Edward,” his mentor answers warmly.

His mentor. Will I ever feel this way toward the man? It’s certainly hard to imagine, given how close the two of them already are.

“What can I get you to drink, Bella? Glass of wine…sparkling water…shot of tequila?”

Instinct kicks in and I look to Edward for approval. He’s wearing a broad grin, reminding me we’re not in scene and I’m free to do as I like.

“You know what? A glass of white wine would be lovely.”

Marcus seems pleased. “And how about you, my friend?”

“I wouldn’t mind a shot of tequila,” Edward responds, clearly taking Marcus by surprise.

He counters immediately, “I’ll join you.”

“Well, heck, if you’re both doing shots, I’ll have one, too.”

Marcus rubs his hands together gleefully, “All righty then. Let’s get down to it.”

HE
There’s something surreal about clinking shot glasses of Patron with my mentor and my submissive, but as the warmth spreads down my throat and into my belly, I can almost see Isabella’s inhibitions loosen just that fraction she needed.

“Let’s sit down in the living room,” Marcus says.

Isabella and I take the love seat, hands intertwined and legs joined from knee to hip on the couch.


“Edward, why don’t you start by laying out your vision for us,” Marcus suggests.

“Sure. The way I see it, the goal of this arrangement is for Isabella to have a safe place to ask questions, seek information, be able to express things she might feel uncomfortable bringing to me.”

Jesus, that hurt.

“I see you, Marcus, as someone we both can trust to share information as you believe it will benefit my relationship with Isabella. If there’s something you need me to know based on your conversations with Isabella, I suppose she’ll have to trust you to share, and if there’s something you need to keep in confidence, I suppose I’ll have to deal with that.”

Isabella squeezes my hand, and I pause and look up.

“Hey.”

“Hmm?”

“Are you gonna be okay with that, Edward? I mean, I can’t really think of anything that I can’t talk to you about right now, but if and when there does come that time, are you sure this is going to work for you? Because I don’t want to feel as though I’m keeping secrets from you.”

“I have to be honest, Isabella. I hope those things are few and far between, but I imagine they will be. I’m guessing with Marcus’s guidance, we’ll be able to work through just about anything together. Marcus, do you have any insight here?”

Marcus leans forward, clasping his hands between his knees. “My role is not secret-keeper or go-between; I’m here to listen and advise you the best I can, Bella. At times, I might say to you, ‘I’d really like to talk to Edward about this Master-to-Master,’ but what I see happening most often is my saying to you, ‘Here’s how I think you need to bring this up with Edward.’ I think what Edward is laying out makes sense, with the understanding that the goal is always going to be communication and honesty between partners. Is that helpful?”

Isabella is glowing with the comfort provided by his wise counsel already, and we’ve barely gotten started. It helps ease the lion’s share of my misgivings. In any case, I’d swallow my pride any day for her. I nod and Isabella does the same, a relieved smile taking the place of her worried frown.

“Okay,” I continue, “for the record, just to be crystal clear, there will be no intimate touching between the two of you.”

Marcus gives Isabella his best devilish grin. “Are you sure you can live with that one, Bella?”

“Cut that shit out,” I scold, but Isabella’s tinkling laugh at my side relaxes me again.

“Bella, how about you? Any concerns? Questions?”

She hesitates for a moment, but then forges on, “What happens after tonight? I mean, will we come here again…together? Or will I come alone? Or do we set up phone times or do I just email you? I’m concerned about taking advantage of your kindness here.”


I’m so fucking proud of her I feel might burst, and from the expression on Marcus’s face, I can tell that he, too, is beyond impressed.

“Just the mere fact that you’ve had the misgiving tells me you will never take advantage. I want to be here for you, in whatever capacity makes sense. Depending on how things go here tonight, I’d say maybe it makes sense to have you come back out in a few months, and I can’t see Edward allowing you to make that trip without him?”


With a slight nod of my head, I confirm his belief, and he continues.

“I don’t have any problem with emails—I return them when it’s convenient. Scheduled phone calls are fine, and we can always Skype if we need Edward in on the call as well. Of course, you should feel free to call if you’re having some kind of emergency, but I don’t foresee that happening, not with the Master you’ve got. What else is rattling around up there?”

Yes, Isabella, he can see right into your brain. Just spill; it’s so much easier.

“Can I see where Master had his training?”

Marcus barely contains his smirk, but to his credit, he doesn’t answer without my permission. “That’s up to your Master.”

Isabella turns her doe eyes on me and pleads in a way that is both exceedingly familiar and also brand new. This isn’t just about me, though I’m quite certain she’ll fish for more details about my time in chains. She wants to see the dungeon—the toys and equipment I don’t have, the stuff of vivid fantasies.

“Stop batting your eyelashes at me; you know that doesn’t work.”

Marcus chuckles, because all three of us know it has already worked.

I turn away from her beseeching expression and stare down Marcus. “What happened in the dungeon…”

“Stays in the dungeon,” he assures me in no uncertain terms.

Satisfied with his answer, I’m able to turn back to Isabella and answer her with a sloppy kiss.

“Is that a yes?” she asks breathlessly.

“God help me…yes.”

Marcus stands. “Well, Bella, if there’s nothing else you need your Master for…?”

“No, I’m good!”

“In that case,” Marcus says, pulling his key ring from his front pocket and tossing it to me, “wait for me in the dungeon.” A wide grin consumes his face. “God, it feels so good to say that again.”

The jolt to my system is undeniable. My cock twitches inside my jeans, and I blush like a girl for him.

Marcus is a class act. He doesn’t embarrass me about it in front of Isabella; he simply smiles humbly and mutters, “Me too, kid, me too.”

she
I watch Edward’s back until he turns the corner. Here we are—Marcus and I—alone at last.

“How about that glass of wine now?”

“Will you join me?” Maybe it was bold of me, but I don’t want to drink alone.

Marcus sizes me up, for the umpteenth time tonight, and nods. “Sure.”

He turns and moves to the sideboard, opening an under-counter wine refrigerator and retrieving some bottle of white. I’m riveted to the way his body accomplishes the simplest movements—the plunge of the corkscrew, the twist, twist, twist, twist, and finally, the wedge and shimmy. The cork doesn’t stand a chance. Marcus is a powerful locomotive barely restrained by his human outer coverings, a tightly-wound coil poised to spring. If not for his uncanny intuition and inclination for good, he could be a dangerous force—no doubt about it. Shame on me, but given free rein to ogle him, I have a hard time not imagining him wielding a crop or bending a submissive over his whipping bench.

I suck in a mouthful of air—the whipping bench I will soon be viewing, in person, with my very own eyes!

“To a new partnership,” Marcus toasts, handing me a generous glass of wine. I nod and clink and put his clothes back on in my mind. Then again, he’s most likely done the same to me—if not tonight, then at the restaurant where we first met.

And now I’m blushing.

“Let’s sit down again,” he offers kindly, a slight smile playing on his face. “I know you’re still nervous, Bella, but why don’t you tell me how this all began for you. When did you first discover your submissive tendencies?”

I feel a tingle below recalling Master asking me to recount my earliest fantasy—the alien abduction. “I was probably around eleven,” I tell Marcus.

He sits back and crosses his ankle over his knee, waiting. Okay then.

“I’d read some snippet of some bondage story and that was all I could think of from that moment forward.”

“So you’ve had other D/s relationships?”

“No. God no. Edward is my first.” Edward is my only.


“Hmm. I can’t help but notice you’re a young woman in your…early thirties?”

I nod.

“How did you go so long without satisfying this need?”


I don’t know how much Edward has told him about me, but I’m aware that Marcus knows about my difficulty accepting this reality.

“I kept it locked away…it was too shameful to admit…I could never ask for what I wanted from any of my partners.”

“And why is that?” Matter of fact.

“First of all, I don’t think I was ever with a man who would’ve bent that particular direction.” Understatement of the year where one Jasper Whitlock was concerned. “And secondly, I had a very hard time getting past my shame over it.”

“Is that past tense I hear?” He sips at his wine, not pressuring me, so I sip at mine.

“Mostly.”

Again, he nods, the wise sage accepting my truths without judgment. I have the feeling I could say anything to him, and he’d be neither surprised nor disappointed. It’s unbelievably liberating. Aside from Edward, there has never been another person I could confide in.

“You’re still working on it.”

“Yes.”

“And your Master is helping, I take it?”

“Yes.” I can’t help my grin, and he smiles back knowingly.

“That’s good. That’s really good. So how do you think you’re doing as a submissive?”

“Well, I haven’t had too many complaints,” I joke, defense mechanisms kicking in.

Marcus intercepts my glib answer and shoots back, “Does that mean you haven’t been on the receiving end of any discipline?”

“Not very much. A few mild moments here and there.”

“Mild? What do you consider mild?”

“Oh…um…” Crap. Okay, let’s go. “The first punishment I received was some wasabi rubbed onto my body.”

His eyebrows pop up. “Wasabi? How creative.”


“Yeah, we were having sushi for dinner.”

“I see.”


“But aside from that, there have been one or two spankings…” oh yes, it’s super fun to talk about being spanked with an almost complete stranger, “but mostly, it’s been a firm reprimand and then I’m back on track.”

“You’re a pleaser, not a tester then?” he posits.

“I don’t know that I’ve ever had the urge to test him.”

Marcus smiles. “You will. At some point, down the road. You’re going to need to know that he still loves you and he’s paying attention, because the way a dom shows his love is by not letting his submissive get away with anything.”

That sounds scary, sounds like a lack of faith. “That doesn’t sound like us,” I tell Marcus very confidently.

Marcus takes a long drag on his wine before answering. “Don’t worry, Bella. Your master will take care of you. He knows right now that a stern word or even a gentle caress will set you straight, and he’s wise not to overplay the discipline, because then it would fall on him to make sure you’re behaving, instead of you. That’s not what we want as doms. That’s not the kind of devotion a master like Edward deserves, and you’re right, it’s not who you are together. But make no mistake, should that time come when you challenge him—and it almost always does—he will correct you swiftly and with great compassion, and if I know Edward, great creativity. You’ll be toeing the line in no time.”

“Highly reassuring,” I chuff.

Marcus smiles, pauses, then says, “You’re making light, and that’s fine, but you’re a sharp cookie, Bella. You know deep in your gut that what I’m saying is true.”

“Of course I do.”

“Okay, so it sounds as if your Master is happy with your behavior; how about you? How do you feel you measure up?”

Again, sarcasm kicks in first. “Does it matter?”

Marcus simply waits. It’s your nickel.

“Sorry.” Wow, I can easily imagine how effective he’d be in the play room if his well-placed silences have me spilling my guts all over the floor. “I know I’ve come a long way, but there are still things I wish I could do better.”

“Anything you’d care to share?”

“I guess there’s not much point in my being here if I don’t, huh?”

He shrugs.

Deep breath, hold, and exhale. “I’m not very good at…we’ve tried a couple times but…”

“Want me to close my eyes?” The lightness in his voice helps me over the embarrassment.

“No, I’m good thanks. It’s the anal thing. I can’t seem to make it work.”

“It’s important to you then?”

Reasonable question.

“Not me, so much…”

“Your Master has expressed his disapproval?”

“No, not at all. He says I’m doing fine.”

“Oh, so you've decided not to trust his assessment of the situation?”

“I just think he’s trying to protect me. I don’t know if he’s being honest.”

“Now I understand the problem. We’re not talking about anal sex anymore—you get that, right?”

“Yeah, I know, and believe me, we’ve been up and down this conversation.”

“Yet, you still don’t really trust that he’s fine with where you are?”

“It’s pretty hard when I don’t get to see his checklist. I mean, who knows?...maybe he has this rated ‘Definitely want to be doing on a daily basis,’ but I’ll never know.”

Marcus guffaws. “I don’t know where you got that checklist of yours, Bella, but it sounds like a whole lot of fun!”

“You know what I mean. Is it normal for Masters not to share their checklists?”

“Normal? There’s a word that gives me the willies.”

“I guess I should know better by now.”

“Looking at your situation—and more specifically, where you were before your collaring—I’d most definitely agree with Edward’s decision not to share his checklist with you. He’s one to hold his cards close to the chest anyway, but it even makes more sense where you were a complete novice. You most likely would’ve tried to mold yourself to what you thought he wanted instead of discovering who you are.”

“Every checkmark that didn’t match his would’ve made me feel inadequate before we even got started.”

“That’s right. Besides, I’m willing to bet that you’ve already changed your opinion on many of the activities in just a few short weeks.”

“Definitely,” I answer, the video scene fresh enough in my mind to bring a new blush to the surface.

Marcus nods and relaxes back into the couch. “Edward’s a versatile guy; he’s open to most things, but it’s not like he has a bucket list to slam through.”

“That’s exactly what he told me last night.”

“You have to know you’re his joy, Bella. If he can bring out the best in you, he’s wholly satisfied. As a mildly objective third-party observer, and as a dom, I can guarantee you that.”

“So I shouldn’t ask him if he’s missing anything?”

“My understanding is you can ask him anything you want. The caveat is when he answers you, it behooves you to believe him.”

“Fair enough. He hasn’t steered me wrong yet.”

“No…and he won’t. Edward’s a very special guy, and an incredibly gifted dom.”

“Funny, he said the same of you.”

“Well,” Marcus smiles broadly, “I did teach him everything I know.”

HE
The heady aroma of leather fills my nostrils as I push past the threshold of the dungeon. My eyes sweep around the room, taking in the very familiar as well as the newest additions. Marcus has exquisite taste, and the black cast iron fittings coupled with rich dark leather provide a compelling environment for the discriminating dominant and the eager submissive.

I loop the key ring over the tiny hook next to the door and leave the door ajar for them. My feet carry me toward the center of the room to the whipping bench, a broad expanse of leather set on four solid cherry legs with two cuffs attached at one end for wrists and two at the other end just above the knee supports, perfectly placed for locking thighs to the sturdy frame. The damn thing makes my ass burn just to look it. As I discovered under Marcus’s watchful eye, the whipper really doesn’t have it all that much better than the poor sucker strapped to the contraption, at least while the whipper is learning.

~/~

“Harder!”

Swish…thwack!

“Eight, thank you, Sir.”

Swish…thwack!

“Nnnnngh…nine, thank you, Sir.”

I looked over at Marcus one last time, and I didn’t like what I saw. His scowl was the deepest I’d seen yet, and that was saying something after my first week of apprenticeship. “Hit…her…harder!” he intoned through clenched teeth.

I wound up my thrashing arm one last time and let loose the flogger on her bright red bottom. Swish…THWACK!!

“Ahhhh! TEN, THANK…YOU, SIR!”

Marcus walked over to the heaving mess of girl and cupped her chin in his hand. “Where are we, Penny?”

“Six, Master.”

He wiped a tear from her cheek.  “We agreed on eight today, did we not?”

“Yes, Master.”

Marcus stepped away and crossed his arms again, giving me a slight nod. By the time the flogger bit into the girl’s flesh for the fifteenth time, I’d made a promise to myself that I would not be seeking submissives who needed more pain than I was prepared to inflict.

After the eighteenth stroke, Marcus checked in with her again. When she reported that she was at seven, he braced her shoulders with his broad chest and kissed her before signaling the final blow.

“Enough,” Marcus commanded, and I dropped the whip to the floor and collapsed into the spanking chair, my shoulders sore and my hands raw from gripping the sliding leather so tightly.

Marcus uncuffed the girl and flipped her spent body into his arms. He carried her over to where I was wallowing and turned his body so my eyes fell on the girl’s face.

“Thank you, Sir,” she said, her mouth forming a smile despite the watery eyes.

Marcus gave me a nod. “I’m going to take care of her; we’ll talk later.”

For half an hour, I polished every inch of the play room, my penitence for the harsh punishment I’d been made to deliver. I couldn’t decide which of us I hated most—myself, Marcus, or the girl—but my blood was still boiling when he returned.

“How is she?” I asked, anxiety oozing out of my every pore.

“She’s fine. Actually, she’s way better than fine; she’s flying pretty high.” Marcus slipped his hands into his front pockets and leaned back against the wall.

“It wasn’t too much?”

“No, Edward. It was just what she wanted. She gets off on it; a lot of people do, you know.”

“I don’t,” I growled back.

“Okay.”

“Not okay, Marcus. I feel like shit right now.”

“I’m sorry to hear that. I wish you would’ve safe-worded if you were feeling uncomfortable.”

His words took the wind right out of me. “I should’ve…? But you were there…and she was the one taking the beating.”

“Yet you’re the one who got hurt, and for that, I am truly sorry.”

My chest dropped to the whipping bench as my bravado gave out. Marcus glided to my side and pressed his hands to my shoulders. Despite my self-loathing, I accepted his comfort and the soothing motion of his strong fingers kneading my sore muscles.

“Marcus, what kind of pussy dom am I gonna be?”

“Edward, you are the farthest thing from a pussy. You just discovered one of your hard limits, that’s all. Everyone has them.”

I turned my head and found those eyes I trusted with my truest self. “Even you?”

Marcus chuckled. “Yes, of course, even me.”

“For example?”

He stared at me without speaking while his hands worked their magic on me, waiting to see if I would back down. I held his gaze as if my future depended on it.

“Okay,” he finally said softly, “I won’t do breath play, or blood play for that matter.”

“Seems reasonable. But…fuck, isn’t whipping pretty much front and center on the job description?”

“THE description? Every submissive is a different situation. There is no one-size-fits-all here. I cannot stress that enough. So you’re going to steer clear of submissives who need the heavy beatings. To be honest, it’s not exactly my favorite thing either, but Penny is special…and she is flying right now. You should talk to her when she wakes up; you’ll see.”

“I believe you. I just can’t…I can’t.”

“You’re not any less of a dom for it, Edward. You were doing fine up until that last set. Most girls won’t want it past there.”

“I sure hope I don’t fall for a pain slut.”

Marcus laughed out loud and patted me on the back. “It couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.”

~/~

I smooth my palm over the cool leather and imagine Isabella stripped bare and cuffed to this bench for me, completely at my mercy. I visualize gliding my palm down the arch of her back and over her fleshy bottom, and teasing her with my crop until she begs to be fucked. I picture the wild look in her eyes as she watches my reflection climb onto the bench behind her and pound her so thoroughly we both forget out names.

Fuck, how much longer? It probably wasn’t wise to work myself into a lather with nothing but a long car ride ahead of us. I flip the security camera the bird, turn my back to it, and adjust myself before someone gets hurt.

she
“More wine?”

“How are we doing on time? I’m sorry, I’ve kind of lost track.”

“You’re fine. It’s 8:30.”

“Oh gosh, poor Edward.”

“I wouldn’t worry too much about him. I have some reading materials in the play room that he always used to find interesting.”

Gulp. Edward. Waiting for me in the play room. Having read interesting things.


“Maybe just one more glass.”

My host refills both our glasses and gives me a wink as he tips his head back for the first taste. I mirror his actions, minus the wink, and enjoy the freedom afforded by the alcohol.

“All right. You have another burning question for me; I can feel it.”

I roll my eyes. He’s right. Edward’s right. The two of them are so attuned to my wavelength, they’re practically psychic, and I decide to just accept the inevitable.

“So…my last journal entry…the three fantasies?”

Marcus’s smile grows ever wider. “Ah yes. A Master’s delight.”

I pull my lower lip between my teeth, one last ditch effort to swallow my questions.

“You know, I can’t help if you don’t ask.”

“I know. All right, here goes. There was a fourth fantasy that I was kind of afraid to list.”

“Do tell, beautiful Bella.”

“I don’t know why it’s so compelling all of a sudden, but…”

“It’s really not a good idea to tease me, Bella.”

“Do you think it’s possible that Edward would ever let me dominate him?”

Marcus sets his wine glass down on the coffee table between us and falls back into the couch. “Wow.”

“Wow yes?”

“Wow, I was really not expecting that from you.”

“Surprise!”

“You certainly are.” He rubs two fingers across his chin while he figures out how to answer me.

“You do know that Edward is not a switch, right?”

“So he’s mentioned.”

“No, Bella. I’m not sure you’re feeling me here. I don’t mean that in a casual way. What you need to know is Edward really and truly hates the submissive role. Coming to me was the hardest thing he’s ever done in his life.”

“So, that’s a no?”

“It’s not my place to say yay or nay for Edward, and you should absolutely tell him what you want, but let me help frame it for you, okay?”

I nod.

“I can see it going one of two ways, if he allows it at all. First, he might direct you in scene to take the upper hand within boundaries that he’d establish. For example, he might tell you that you can do anything you like to him with your feet, but he’s not allowed to come before you do.”

“My feet?”

“Mmhmm. Ever tried getting off a guy with just your feet?”

“Can’t say I have.”

Marcus grins. “It’s interesting. Whatever…substitute mouth or knees or tits…it all works.”

I nearly spit my wine into the goblet.

“Sorry. That was a little glib.”

“Just a wee bit. And the other way?”

“I could see him allowing it as Isabella and Edward, not submissive and Master. And don’t expect him to behave like a submissive.”

“What do you mean by that?”

“Anything that even hints at humiliation is going to send him running, so if you’re fantasizing about spanking him or—”

“Ohmygosh no! I can’t see him that way either. Oh wow, that was pretty hypocritical of me, wasn’t it? I guess if it were something he really wanted, I’d find a way to make it happen.”

His laughter interrupts my anxious rambling.

“Seriously, Bella, you can stop right there. There is no chance Edward wants you to spank him.”

“Okay…phew.”

He gathers himself. “What did you have in mind exactly?”

I swallow the rest of my wine and wave off his unspoken offer for more. “I want to be free to use his body at my whim. I want to drive him crazy with teasing and maybe tie him up or blindfold him, but not for the purpose of humiliating him.”

Marcus clears his throat. “Lucky guy.”

I’ve had enough—or too much—wine, and it slips out. “Don’t you mean, ‘lucky girl?’”

My heart thunders for a few seconds as I consider the boundary I’ve just overstepped, but Marcus quickly puts me at ease. “Lucky pair.”

“So, Mr. Mentor, how do I make this happen?”


“You need to bring it up with Edward, and having alcohol involved for the conversation isn’t a bad idea. Give him time to think about what he’s comfortable with. Trust me, if you frame it as your boyfriend servicing your needs, he’ll be all over that.”

“Sounds good. Thank you.”

“My pleasure. And Bella…I would suggest you not wait too long before talking with him about this. You seem pretty amped.”

“Oh my god, speaking of waiting…”

“Yeah, we should go. He’ll be climbing the walls by now.”

Marcus stands and I set down my glass and pop up off the couch. “Thank you again, Marcus. This was so great.”

“Truly my pleasure, Bella. Come on, let’s find your Master.”
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A/N: From my kinky heart to yours, warm wishes for a joyous holiday and a New Year filled with love, friendship, and peace. XXX ~BOH