My phone bleeps with the incoming message that my submissive has submitted…her checklist. This happy news comes exactly at the same instant she pushes through the door wearing a proud smile.
“Done!” She crawls up the end of the bed and parts my raised knees to make way for her shoulders, waist, hips, and finally, knees. She plops indelicately onto my chest and I wrap my arms around her back.
“How’d you do?” I mumble into her hair, leaving a kiss behind.
“I crossed all my ‘t’s and dotted all my ‘i’s.”
Wow, she finished, in one sitting.
“How do you feel?” I ask the top of her head.
“Anxious…excited…scared, and horny.”
I laugh, “In that order?”
“No, in the dead opposite of that order.”
I’d need a wider face if my smile grew any bigger than it is right this moment. “What do you need from me, baby?” Anything, anyhow, anyone, anywhere.
She murmurs one word into my chest. “Rough.”
I have no problem with that, but before we go there, I tip her chin so I can properly meet her eyes. “Thank you, Isabella.”
She scoots up enough to reach my lips, and we connect at lips, tongues, noses, eyes, and foreheads. I feel like she’s trying to crawl inside me, and I’d happily make space. Poor girl’s been pondering fetishes and scenes and bondage positions for the last forty-five minutes. The least I can do is fuck her brains out.
With a low growl, I flip us over and make quick work of her top and bra. She squeals when I take hold of her nipple between my teeth and flick my tongue across the surface as I let go.
“You’ve got two seconds to get those pants off,” I order, peeling off my own clothes as her eyes grow large. Trapped between my knees, she slithers out of her jeans and panties while she toes off her shoes. She’s practically levitating off the bed with sexual tension. Foreplay…check!
I regard her glistening pussy and ask, “So what did you decide on the clit clips?”
She shakes her head no, not that I’m surprised.
“Neutral,” she chokes out.
“Really?” That bodes well. “So,” I continue, twisting both nipples roughly, “you’re offering up your nipples for abuse but not your clit?”
She blushes a lovely shade of crimson before responding, “Well, I did leave you forced orgasms.”
I love her courage. “Did you, now?” I ask menacingly. If this were a scene, I wouldn’t allow her so much input, but right now, I am positively delighted she’s leaving me breadcrumbs. One rough, forced orgasm coming right up, princess.
I’ve heard enough. I cover her mouth with my own and lock her thighs in place. My palm slaps loudly and wetly against her eager pussy. She answers the noise with a needy moan that reverberates in my mouth. I continue slapping, adding direct pressure on her clit with my thumb. She clamps her teeth down around my tongue. I shorten the intervals, applying almost constant pressure. Her hips can’t decide if she needs more or less, but it doesn’t matter because I’m driving this bus.
I pull my mouth off hers when she starts gasping for air. She throws an arm across her eyes as a low howl starts to bubble up.
“Is this forceful enough, baby? Huh?”
“Yes…yes…yes…yes…” She’s practically incoherent.
I grind the heel of my hand relentlessly back and forth until she has no choice but to reach her screaming orgasm.
Without a word, I roll her onto her side and enter her from behind, gripping her thigh roughly with one hand and snaking under her to torture a nipple with the other. I pound repeatedly, pushing deep inside, engaging her G-spot in the action.
Each thump of my thighs against her ass draws a low grunt from Isabella. That left hand slides from her nipple and finds her aching pussy, and she’s not necessarily happy about it. And this is where the real fun of the forced orgasm begins; not with the first, but with each subsequent, increasingly painful pleasure. You asked for it.
I scrub my fingertips in tiny circles on top of her sensitive clit. Her grunting becomes one low continuous wail.
“You’re going to give me another orgasm, Isabella. Whether you want to or not.”
She answers with an agonized groan, then takes up her wail again.
“Let’s do it together. Come on, baby. Five…four…three…two…one!” Her interior walls grip me like a vise as she spasms around my own release.
We’re a heaving, sweaty tangle of hair and limbs. She bats my hand away from her achy, spent pussy.
“Don’t worry, sweetheart, I wasn’t going for three this afternoon. I’ve got to save you for tonight.”
The frigid ocean air and infinite loop around the ice skating rink have done little to ease my keyed-up nerves. The mascara brush shakes so badly as I near my eye, I need to lower my hand, force out a huge breath and start again. Tweezing my eyebrows is a cruel joke, and I finally give up, hoping the few errant stubbles won’t violate my master’s orders.
I flip the mirror to normal magnification. Staring back at me are the eyes of the proverbial deer caught in headlights. I’m freaking out a little bit.
Have I pushed that submit button too soon, all the way around? I catch Edward’s back in the large mirror as he slides his arms into his sports coat at the closet door. A growing sense of panic clutches my stomach.
What am I doing here, at the edge of the continent, with this virtual stranger?
What kind of crazy stuff have I just given him carte blanche to do to me?
Am I some kind of twisted pervert?
He turns to the mirror before I can avert my eyes, and his glorious smile melts away like a little boy who’s just caught his mommy leaving a quarter and a bloody baby tooth under his pillow.
“Oh shit,” he mutters under his breath as he advances on me. “Isabella, turn around and look at me.”
His voice is a raw plea.
For the first time since I’ve met him, I disobey a direct order. Not because I want to, just because I can’t meet his eyes right now. I drop my gaze to the vanity and try not to lose what little of my shit I still retain.
His hands cover my shoulders as he gives me a soothing squeeze. “Hey,” he says softly, as if coaxing a wounded animal toward a waiting crate. “Please?”
I can’t mask my anxiety as my eyes meet his reflection. Edward drops his head in defeat, hiding his expression from me behind a curtain of wild hair. Jesus Everloving Christ, what have I done?
In my effort to be a responsible dom and cover the checklist, I’ve pushed too far, too quickly. Dammit!
“I’m sorry,” she whispers, her voice shaky with restrained tears.
“For what?” Changing your mind about everything?
“For this…uncertainty, I guess,” she says wretchedly. “I looked up suddenly just a minute ago, and I had no idea where I was…or who I am, for that matter.”
“Or who the monster is who brought you here?” I add miserably.
“Don’t put those words in my mouth, please. I’ve never regarded you as a monster.”
I turn away and plop down at the edge of the bed, needing a little distance. “Don’t feel bad, Isabella. It’s normal for you to be having second thoughts right now. Honestly, I’m pleased that you’re giving this whole thing the serious consideration that it deserves. Nobody should enter into this kind of relationship lightly.”
“I guess the checklist just spooked me,” she explains.
Yeah, no shit. “I understand that. I need to make sure you’re clear on the plan here. I took a quick spin through your answers while you were showering….”
Her head jolts up and her panicked eyes meet mine.
“I’m pretty confident we can work through your concerns and questions together at dinner.”
“Will there be alcohol involved?”
“Most definitely,” I sigh heavily. “The logical next step would be collaring. We’d exchange promises and make commitments to each other.”
“Commitments?” she asks in a small voice.
“As a submissive and a dom. I’ll walk you through the whole thing.”
“And you thought this might happen…when?”
I brush the hair back from my forehead nervously before the big reveal. “Later tonight. Before midnight.”
“Oh.” Her chests expands and contracts with a huge, careful breath. “Wow.”
“Isabella, all this reflection, this doubt …it’s healthy. It’s productive, even. By all means, have your second and even third thoughts now. Do what you’ve gotta do. But I have to ask you to work through it before we move forward with the collaring.
“I’m not pushing you to give me an answer tonight, if you’re unprepared. But you need to know, I can’t look into your eyes and see this kind of doubt after I collar you. I’m pretty sure it will crush me.”
I feel myself flinch when he says that. It will crush me.
I nod. “I understand.” What he’s asking is more than fair. I hate how far apart we’re sitting right now, but I understand why he’s imposed the distance.
“I’m here for you, Isabella, as your dom, your boyfriend, whatever you need. But please, don’t make me pretend to be impartial. The sheep doesn’t ask the wolf if it’s safe to come out and play in the meadow. ‘Sure, come and graze. The grass is delicious. What? These pointy teeth? Nah, they’re just for decoration.’”
I smile at his wolf imitation, imagining him reading Little Red Riding Hood to a group of children. The better to eat you with, my dear!
“And please,” he adds, “don’t ask for Black Velvet to help this time either. You’ll get his out-of-office reply.”
I snort at the geek speak suddenly dropped into our conversation, and Edward’s lips quirk up at one end in an embarrassed, lopsided grin.
“You’re really being great about this, Edward. I’m really sorry to spoil the day.”
He comes back to stand in front of my chair. “You haven’t spoiled a thing. We don’t have to leave for dinner for another hour. Why don’t you take some time to yourself? Or phone a friend or whatever you need to do. If you need me, I’ll be in the lobby.”
My heart wrenches as he moves away.
I need you, I need you.
He slides his phone and key into his pants pocket and takes his book from the nightstand. Before he walks through the bedroom door, he turns back and says, “Please don’t be afraid to tell me you’re not ready, if that’s the right answer.”
He pulls the door closed behind him, and the vacuum caused by his absence sucks every drop of life out of the room. The hell with makeup. I can’t stand the sight of my own reflection, and I move to the spot on the bed he’s just vacated. I flop backward gently, so as not to dislodge any of the cream-colored sequins from my halter top.
I work to still the voices in my head; the ones that long for Edward to return and cover me with his body in every which way, and the ones that rage equally that what I want is wrong and dirty. I dig down to the root of my agitation so I can face the decision head-on.
Am I repulsed at my need? A little. Do I feel shame? For sure.
Is it the complete upheaval of my life, the loss of the familiar, boring and unsatisfying though it was? It is certainly a consideration.
Or is it simple, naked fear that holds me back?
Aw, shoot. I’m just a big fraidy cat. Nothing more interesting than that, after all. I reach for my phone, reflexive in my need to connect with the one person I know I can count on to quell my anxiety.
“Hey,” he answers softly.
“Hi. You busy?”
“Not too busy for you. What’s up?”
Deep breath, Isabella. “I’m scared.”
Fuck, I’m scared, too. Scared that I might hurt you. Scared you’ll change your mind. Scared I’ll disappoint you.
“I know, baby.”
I settle into the sofa and close my eyes.
“Edward, what if this is all too much for me, the submitting, I mean?”
“Then we scale back to what’s comfortable for you, or we stop altogether,” I answer, hoping she can’t hear the defeat in my voice.
“But…” I wait forever for the rest, “…wouldn’t you…need…someone…else?”
That is a very fucking good question. And one I’d love to answer with a resoundingly negative response.
“You want my honest answer?”
“Isabella, I have no idea.”
Fuuuuck. See where honesty gets you?
She must understand on some level. She left the last guy because he couldn’t do this for her. Would vanilla with Isabella be enough for me? Would it be enough for her, when all is said and done?
Finally, her small voice comes through. “That would suck.”
“Epically,” I agree.
“Edward?” she starts.
“I really want this to work.”
“I know you do, sweetheart. And so do I. But…”
“We both know you can’t force it.”
“I know I want this…I want YOU…but sometimes it all feels so wrong to want things this way.”
“The taboo is a huge part of the chemistry of your arousal.”
“You’re sitting in the lobby!” she giggles.
“SO? You can’t just go saying ‘arousal’!”
“See, I can. Because it doesn’t matter to me what anyone else thinks.”
“So you’re never conflicted?”
Never is a strong word. “Are you asking me what I see when I take a good, hard look at my soul?”
“Only if you feel like sharing,” she hedges.
I twist a strand of hair around my index finger, anxious for his reply.
“In my occasional bleak moments, I see the wolf. Granny’s tied up in the next room and I’m sweet-talking the innocent virgin into giving me her goodies, knowing they’re already mine from the moment I laid eyes on her.”
“So how do you deal with those feelings?”
“I try not to beat myself up for what is basically an animal desire. It’s all about what you do with that desire that matters. I don’t go around accosting little girls on the playground or pulling women into dark alleys.”
Sweet Jesus, he can’t mean he wants to do those things? My world tilts, and I’m thankful I’m lying down. With the least judgmental voice I can muster, I ask, “Is that…a struggle for you?”
“Fuck no. NO, Isabella. Hell no! Is that what you…fuuuuck!”
I’m instantly relieved but utterly sickened that he now thinks I’ve thought this true about him. “I’m sorry,” I say quietly. “I guess I misunderstood what you were saying.”
He doesn’t answer. I can picture him down there by the fire, tossing his phone away from his ear as if it’s toxic. I’ve told him repeatedly I don’t find him monstrous, and then I make that hideous leap…will he forgive me?
“Edward, please, I’m so, so sorry.”
No response. This day has gone from insane to surreal. What a way to close out the year. Alone, in the middle of nowhere. Having just tossed another body onto the growing pile of wreckage.
Suddenly, I’m not alone. Edward dashes through the door and to the bed and stops dead in front of me. His eyes are wild and terrified. He drops the book and key to the floor and stares, his whole being locked on me.
“Isabella,” he chokes out, “I’m a monster, but I am not that kind of monster.”
I snap up to a sitting position, tears pouring down my face. “I didn’t think you were.”
“For a second there, you could’ve believed it pretty fucking easily.” His lips quiver and his entire body vibrates as he fights to restrain his anger and disappointment.
My hands twist the comforter in agony. “Edward—”
“Stop!” He holds out his hand like a traffic cop. “Before you say anything, I want to remind you how much I abhor lies. Please just have the decency to be honest with me.” And the hand drifts down to his side.
I nod before continuing. “Edward, I admit you confused me, and yes, you scared me. I misunderstood and I thought you were telling me that you have to fight off the urges…to…”
“Attack children and rape women?” His face twists with the agony of spewing the hideous words.
My head flops forward while the tears spill over. “I thought…choke…I knew you…but when you…choke…gave the examples…choke…I flashed there…choke…just for one second!”
I hear his teeth gritted as he says, “I have no such urges.”
“Okay.” I sniffle and lift my soggy face. I raise my palms in supplication. “I believe you. Now, can you forgive me?”
He blinks at me three times, then sinks to his knees. He grasps my face with both hands and closes his lips over mine. Neither one of us can breathe, and his tears mingle with my own before he finally pulls back. “I can’t stand that you had those thoughts about me. I mean, I literally do not know how to deal with that.”
“I can’t help the flicker of doubt, but it didn’t stay with me. It made no sense to me. You have to believe me.”
He sits back onto his feet, and it strikes me abruptly that we’re in exactly the reverse positions from when he was hand-feeding me my dinner.
And everything is clear. Just like that. I get why I don’t need my fear.
Why is she smiling?
“What?” My forehead is creased with pain. She’s enjoying my suffering?
“I’m ready now.”
“For what?” To kick me to the curb? To go back to your vanilla life? To shoot a bullet through the wolf’s heart?
“To finish our conversation. Talk about my limits. Commit.”
“You are?” How in the hell did we get there from here? The last half hour has felt like one sickening slide down a slippery tunnel with no footholds. How in the hell did she climb out of this?
“Yes.” She stands and extends a hand, which I accept. She pulls us both to our feet and grasps my other hand as well. “I’m not afraid of this, and I’m not afraid of you. You’re down on your knees for me every bit as much as I am for you; it just looks a little different when you do it.”
She smiles as she speaks, and her relief soothes my hurt. She’s not afraid of me. She doesn’t believe for a second that I’m dangerous, outside of the boundaries we’ll set and honor.
My heart, squashed flat only moments earlier in the vise of her doubts, springs back to life and begins to pump hope through my veins.
“Shall we go to dinner, Miss Swan?”
“Let me guess…you’re hungry,” she teases.
“I should probably fix my makeup first,” she says, turning to the bathroom.
“Please don’t. You’re perfect just like this.”
“Oh Edward Cullen, you say the sweetest things.”
I snort and grab our coats. “Let’s blow this popsicle stand.”