My fingers are still wrapped around the belt bisecting her naked body, sliding along the slippery layer of sweat beneath her satiny skin and the tight leather bondage. I lift my hands to the black velvet bow and tug gently at the ends, opening the makeshift collar and sliding it off her neck. “Scene’s over, sweetheart.”
She pitches her top half forward, meeting my lips with hers, and grazing her breasts along the lines of my chest. Propping herself above me with palms flattened on either side of my head, she looks deeply into my eyes, her own brown pools of wonder taking me in.
“Thank you,” she says, finally, a small satisfied smile curling its way up her lips.
Well, that’s a new one. A sub might be thinking that after a scene, but not once have I heard those words uttered out loud. Her honesty and gratitude are refreshing. And sexy as hell. But twice in fifteen minutes is enough for now, so I bat away that urge and concentrate on the woman above me.
“And thank you.” I smile, pulling her head back down so I can reach her lips.
We’re going to process all this, but not on my living room floor, all naked and sticky. “Would you please grab us a hand towel from my bathroom? Maybe a little warm water…”
“Sure,” she says, adding one more kiss before pushing up and away. I quickly dispose of the condom and I’m up on the couch when she returns. She hands me the towel and unclasps the buckle at her back.
“Did you really want this today or shall I return it to your closet for you?”
“Did you really want this today or shall I return it to your closet for you?”
“No, I’ll wear it. Mom likes belts.”
She smiles widely.
“What?” I ask, puzzled at her amusement.
“Edward Cullen is a pleaser. The thought never occurred to me.”
“Did I not just please you, Isabella?”
She shakes her head at my self-congratulatory attitude, and I don’t make her answer. She’s already thanked me, after all.
“You hungry? I noticed you didn’t eat much breakfast.”
She looks up at me, surprised.
“What? You didn’t think I noticed? I see everything. I thought you knew that by now.”
“I seem to be a slow learner.”
“No. You’re not. You’re just having a hard time accepting that I’m for real.” I give her my cockiest grin.
“Maybe it would help if you didn’t walk around being so sexy all the time. Button your damn shirt for starters.”
My grin is a mile wide. “Go get dressed. I’m taking you out for lunch.”
“How’s the ginger carrot artichoke soup?” he asks.
“Hits the spot. How’s yours?”
“Good as always. I get the smoked turkey corn chowder every time, unless they have vegetarian chili. That’s my favorite.”
I commit his preferences to memory, vowing to hit up recipes-dot-com for a great vegetarian chili recipe. Holy shit, did I just get the urge to cook for this guy? I chuckle inwardly, but it comes out a gruff laugh.
“What’s that for?” He quizzes me with a smile on his face.
“I think I might have just fantasized about cooking for you.”
Now he laughs full on. “Well, can’t say I’ve heard that one before. You are full of surprises, Isabella.”
“I’m surprising myself, believe me.”
He relaxes back into the booth and asks, “So tell me, what was the most difficult thing for you during that scene?”
I sputter into my soup spoon, not expecting the intimate question out of the blue in this brightly lit restaurant. Sure, Edward, I’m happy to talk about crawling for you in the middle of Hale and Hearty.
I set down my spoon and reflect carefully, wanting to give Edward a meaningful answer. “There is this voice inside me…”
I drift off and he misinterprets. “You’re feeling ashamed?”
“No, that’s not where I was headed.”
“Sorry, go on.”
“I guess, for so long I’ve been trying to manufacture this…,” at a loss for a description of what is going on between us, I gesture my finger back and forth between us, “… kind of a relationship out of something that so wasn’t this, I just started hoping for things to happen along the way. Almost willing my …partner….to act in a certain way.”
“To dominate you.”
“And he didn’t.”
An unkind snort and eye roll cloud my features momentarily, “Not even a little.” My betrayal of Jasper seems endless. Fortunately, Edward takes no pleasure in it, which endears him to me all the more. This is not a man who needs to prove his superiority.
“Tell me how that played out during our scene.”
“Well, I started to hear that voice, but every single time, what you actually did was just so much better than what I thought I wanted.”
He gets a self-satisfied grin, and I have to admit that smug looks good on Edward.
“Finally, I pushed the voice aside, and just let you be in charge.”
“Hunh. That was fast! I would’ve expected you to struggle with that through maybe five or six scenes before trying to let go of your inner dom. I must be on my 'A' game.”
I let his playful conceitedness roll off and focus on the fact that, once again, Edward was already well aware of my inner conflict. And once again, he’s not freaked out by my needs.
“I feel like you noticed it at one point, when you reminded me…”
“That you only have one job, to do as I command.”
“Yeah. That was pretty hot,” I admit, and his cocky smile softens into something akin to appreciation for my honesty.
“I share your love for powerful words,” he explains. “I could sense that instantly from your stories, and when I’ve got you under my control, your response to my language is thoroughly satisfying.”
I cover my face with both hands, amazed again that he can embarrass me so easily with words when I’ve been crawling around his apartment naked for the last hour. He soothes away my shame as only he can do.
“I love that about you, Isabella. You have a sophistication that I find incredibly exciting. And I take it as a personal challenge to find the right phrasing to provoke a strong reaction.”
“I’d say you’re more than up to that challenge,” she mumbles behind her hands, leading me to chuckle.
“Well, thank you for that. But you know, there was more to my statement than just reminding you to obey me. It’s an exercise in mindfulness. Keeping your head in the scene, participating fully, without distractions. It’s not easy, but it definitely adds immensely to the experience.”
I chide myself for my own momentary mental digression during our scene.
“I do have a lot going on inside my head right now,” she admits, finally pulling her hands down and showing herself to me.
“That’s certainly understandable. And I want to talk through what’s going to happen for you next and how I can help. But you should be aware that I’m going to be increasingly more demanding of you as we progress, and that will include correcting you when you get distracted.”
“Oh.” Scared puppy eyes look back at me across our booth.
I take her hands in mine around our empty soup bowls. “Isabella, you know I’m not going to hurt you, right?”
“I…actually…don’t know what to expect at all.”
Shit. This is what I get for short-circuiting the normal process of contracts and lists. “You can expect me to take extremely good care of you. I’ve been waiting a very long time for a girl like you to come into my life.” I brush my thumbs gently across her knuckles and tell her, “I think we’re exactly on the same wavelength in the discipline department.”
I see a heavy gulp pass through her throat before she musters up the courage to ask, “Which wavelength is that?”
“I’m not into doling out pain, and you’re not looking forward to receiving any, if your writing is a good indication of your own desires.”
“So how do you plan to…correct me then?”
“Well, you saw what happened when you got a little bratty today. Extra circuit on your knees. How did that make you feel?”
“Um, would it be weird to say, ‘good’?”
“Explain please.” I know exactly what she means, but I need to see if she can access her response.
“I guess I was testing you a little bit. And it was nice to know you…well, didn’t let me get away with it.”
More blushing and hiding, but I’ve still got her hands captured in mine. “That was a perfect answer, and you’re right. I won’t.”
She ventures to lift her face again. “So, is that what I can expect then? In the way of…discipline?” I can tell the word makes her feel all kinds of gooey inside, and I add it to my growing mental list of Words to Arouse Isabella.
“For minor infractions, something like that, yes. I’m usually fairly creative. And one step up from that might entail a spanking.”
She reddens predictably, and I feel a definite twitch in my boxers in response. Taking it one step further, to really push the fantasy, I grin broadly and tell her, “And I do have a small collection of implements you’ll come to know and love.”
There’s an audible groan, and I lift her hand to my lips, showing her how much I appreciate her enthusiasm. And I’m not quite done laying it out for her.
“If you really screw up, you’re going to get a taste of some pretty serious unresolved sexual tension.”
Holy shit. He’s channeling Millionaire Master and my penchant for denying my heroines their release. It’s only been a theory for me up to this point, as I’ve ultimately always been in control of my own masturbatory needs. Now it looks as if that decision, too, will be taken out of my hands, quite literally.
“Does that put your mind at ease, Isabella?”
I snort lightly. “Yes and no.” He nods in understanding.
“From my vantage point, I think you’re doing tremendously with all this.You transitioned beautifully into the scene. Did the collar help?”
“Yes, I loved when you tied your velvet around my neck. And…that moment where you clipped my hair up? How did you make that so erotic?” I have a feeling he could make cleaning the oven erotic.
“Ah. That’s me taking over an act that is something you’re used to doing for yourself. Caring for you, in an intimately personal way. You’re going to feel that when I bathe you or dress you or feed you. Your needs belong to me.”
“Ungggh. Are you sure you’re real?”
“Pretty sure,” he smiles, and finally I glimpse a rare moment of humility in his demeanor.
“So, how do you see all of this playing out at work?”
“I would never jeopardize your position with the company or out you at work. If, down the road, we decide to try a scene that involves work hours, we’ll define it very carefully and make sure we’re both comfortable. As for the other part of our relationship, I’ll have to leave it to you for now, considering…”
Considering my ex will be roaming the same halls and we don’t want to rub this in his face. Right.
“Jesus, Edward, what am I gonna say to Jas?”
“What have you already told him?”
“Oh, the usual. It’s not you, it’s me. Oh, and I told him I don’t think we’re each other’s happily ever afters.” My cruelty hits me hard, and I pull back my hands from his so I can sniffle properly.
Seconds later, Edward’s body crowds into the booth next to me and he’s got me in his arms. “I’m truly sorry for your pain, sweetheart.”
I can see it clearly now. Edward Cullen is not into doling out pain, but he’s certainly a guy you can hold on to while you get it all out. This is the second time in as many days that I’ve cried all over him, and yet, he’s still here, volunteering for duty.
“I mean, do I share what this is? What I needed?”
“Isabella, I understand your desire to provide him with information so that he won’t walk away feeling generally inadequate. But there’s no reason for you to jeopardize your privacy just to spare his feelings.”
I gasp, realizing the implications of telling Jas my secrets. “I’d be outing you at the same time.”
He shrugs. “First of all, he’s not going to go telling anyone about us because that just makes him look weak and pathetic. Second, I couldn’t really care less what anyone else thinks of me. I guess what I’m saying here is, tell him whatever you need to tell him. I’ll be okay whatever that is.”
“Do you think it’s going to help him move on if I tell him what’s happening between you and me?”
“I don’t know the man, so I really can’t say, but I have to believe that he wasn’t exactly getting what he needed either. I mean, if what he wanted to give wasn’t satisfying to you, how could you have been fulfilling his needs?”
“I know I wasn’t. I just don’t know if he’s admitted that to himself.”
“Well then, it seems to me the best you can do for each other is just say you’re sorry it didn’t work and make it as easy as possible to move forward. It doesn’t sound like you had the kind of relationship where the two of you want to hurt each other.”
“No,” I answer. “He’s a good man. He’s a perfect man.”
“Sure he is. Just not perfect for you.”
I look up through my tear-stained eyes. He’s basically repeated his conviction from last night, but I don’t have time to ponder that right now. I have to leave here in ten minutes to meet Jasper.
“Edward, I hate to ask this, so soon and all, but I feel like the least I can do is to offer Jasper the apartment and I-”
“Of course, you’ll stay with me.”
A fresh round of tears sprouts from my eyes as I’m overcome with gratitude.
“And just so you know, Isabella, you are more than welcome to the guest room for as long as you want.”
Oh. The guest room.
“But naturally, I’d much rather have you in my bed. Unless you’re worried about me softening toward you,” he smirks, evoking our conversation from last night.
“I think I’ll be okay with that,” I respond, mopping up my tears with the backs of my hands.
“Good, because I think I’d also like to dote on you quite a bit.”
“You’re gonna dote?”
“I am. In between scenes, of course.”
“Oh my god, Edward. Are you trying to kill me here?”
“No, Isabella. I’m trying to bring you to life.”
“Call or text me any time. I’m reachable. Let me know how it goes at your apartment.”
“Don’t thank me yet, princess. I have an assignment for you.”
“What do you mean?”
“From time to time, there will be something you’ll be required to do by your Master when we’re apart. It might be a physical challenge, like not touching yourself for a given time, or it might be wearing something…special. It also could be doing something outside your comfort zone. Get the idea?”
“Yes,” she says, her face taking on a serious demeanor, considering all I might ask of her.
“Good. Tonight at ten o'clock, I want you to find a private location in your parents’ house where you can stand in front of a mirror. Just your face, not your body, should be reflected. Take off everything below the waist. Understand so far?”
“Mhmm,” she answers, excitement alighting in her eyes.
“Pick one moment from either scene we played out that REALLY got you excited, whether it was a word, a touch, a look. Close your eyes and really focus on that thought until you feel your pussy get good and wet. Still with me?”
“Mhmm,” she repeats, flicking her tongue across her lower lip to replenish the moisture.
“You may touch yourself with one finger.” I take her hand in mine and circle her index finger all the way down to its base. “From here…” and back to the tip, “to here. NOT this part,” I add, caressing the padded part of her hand.
“You can rub your clit or fuck yourself with your finger. Hard and fast, soft and slow, whatever pleases you, using only that one digit. Still with me?”
“Yessss.” I’m guessing she’s already chosen her moment and the arousal’s already pooling.
“Now, here’s the tricky part, Isabella. Right before you are about to come, I want you to look at yourself in the mirror and say, out loud, ‘Please, Sir, may I come?’ After that, count down from ten, and you may come when you hit one.”
Her mouth has fallen open, and she looks like a hungry bird waiting for a morsel of food to be dropped. Then, a smile breaks across her face and she clarifies, “So I can come then?”
“Yes. You can come. For me. Do not wash your hands until you’ve tasted yourself on your finger. Then, I want you to immediately write a post from OnMyKnees to BlackVelvet with the details. Have it in my inbox before eleven tonight.”
“Okay,” she agrees. “But I’ve erased-”
“Here,” I say, placing a memory stick in her palm. “Everything is on here. And yes, I’m still keeping my own copy.”
“Okay. I guess I’ll chat with Black Velvet later tonight then?”
“Yes. And Isabella, I’m counting on being…moved by your message.”
She gulps visibly and nods in agreement.
“Good. Then, we’ll celebrate Christmas together tomorrow, okay?”
“Sounds merry,” she responds.
“Sounds merry,” she responds.
I have something especially festive in mind for my princess.
The taxi comes to a halt outside Hale and Hearty and I settle her inside, leaning in to give her one last, lingering kiss. “Good luck, sweetheart.”
“Talk to you later,” she says. I shut the door and give the roof a couple of good-bye taps. I watch the taxi disappear into the sea of yellow cars and blaring horns and brake lights, hoping she’ll come back to me tomorrow in one piece.