Hmm, brunch with the Cullens at the Guild Hotel. A wool skirt with tights and suede boots topped off with a soft, cozy sweater ought to do the trick. It feels great to just leave my hair down and throw on a pair of chunky earrings and be done. Besides, I smile at my reflection, I’ll be taking this all off in a few hours for Master. A Master who professes to have “plans” for me. I watch with fascination as my face reddens in the mirror. Oh man.
Speaking of the man, Edward’s sleeping like a baby this morning, I note, checking the time in the corner of my monitor. 8:28. I’ll wake him by 9:15 if he hasn’t rolled out of bed before that, but in the meantime, I’ve got journal comments to open. I’ve waited too long; I actually have to go back and reread my entry about pain to recall my observations. Ah, right—the love/hate, it’s all about Master, and what generally comes afterwards. Ready to dive in, I click open skerbo’s message first:
Aaahhh yp, As I don't see you as a 'pain slut', not to worry. I felt the exact same way at first. I was totally not into the pain part as much as more subs are. But as you so wonderfully figured out, Master is there to make the pain sooooo much more pleasurable. I truly enjoy reading your journal entries, as I get to relive or remember what my first few months were like with my Master. It shows great love and respect on your Master's part that He knows you so well by now that He can judge how far He can take your pain to give you that pleasure.
I hope that in time you will learn to love the !%^$#*$ nipple clamps...lol I found that using them on Master can also be lots and lots of fun!!
Always, His kitten
ME use the clamps on MASTER? Frankly, I just don’t see that scenario unfolding. Has he ever...? Would he like it? I wonder. Maybe I’ll ask him tomorrow when we’re unwinding. Sure, as if I’ll be hosting coherent thoughts by then.
kitten- Thanks for your views on the pleasure v pain topic. Obviously, this is something I will continue to work out. *grimaces* Can’t imagine looking forward to the clamps, and wouldn’t that defeat the purpose if I did? Confusing, all this, but thanks for being here! ~xp
Happy to see my "old friend" Less Than Vanilla, I eagerly click open her comment:
Hello princess. I can't believe how far you have gone in so short a time – it’s been less than two weeks since your Collaring Ceremony. Reminds me of my daughter, who was still not walking on her own at 14 months when I decided to buy her first pair of shoes. She screamed the place down whilst we were putting them on her feet, but once we stood her up in them, she was off! She was so quick, she ran out of the shoe store and into the sweet shop next door before her father caught up with her!
The level of faith and trust you have in your Master is quite astounding, but please, take time to reflect.
Take care and stay safe.
Ever cautious, her observation and her advice make me smile.
<V- Yes, I sometimes do feel like that little girl with brand new, magical shoes that not only have me walking, but soaring to ever new heights. My Master is indeed worthy of my faith and trust, but rest assured, your warm words of wisdom are duly noted. ~xp
Whoa! Edward is up and apparently needy this morning. "One sec," I call back, quickly logging out.
"Hurry!" he growls, making my heart race as I step through the doorway of the master suite. "Aw shoot. You're already dressed?" He looks positively adorable, propped up in bed with legs akimbo, the sheets tangled across his lap and his beautiful bare chest on display.
"I've been up since seven," I shrug, sauntering over to the bed and sitting down next to him.
"Wish you would've woken me before you got out of bed," he grumbles roughly. Then, he seems to switch gears and runs his fingertip down the length of my face, scooping my hair behind my ear. Tenderly, he adds, "You look great in that outfit. I just..."
"Wish I weren't wearing it?" I finish helpfully. We both smile. "These tights are ridiculously difficult to get in and out of. Still..." I finger-crawl my hand over to his lap until I find what I'm looking for--a sizeable, firm lump that springs to life when touched. "I'd be more than happy to help you out with this."
His smile is radiant. "I accept your kind offer," he answers immediately, sliding down so that he's flat on his back. I am a sucker for the way the muscles in his upper half expand when he folds his hands behind his neck and flops his elbows open.
With a dramatic flourish, I whip off the sheets and his cock waves hello. I sidle in beside him, angling my head into the crook of his right arm. He turns his head and places a kiss in my hair. "You're the best."
"Just don't squirt on me. I don't want to have to change my sweater."
He laughs, then suggests with a comical eyebrow jiggle, "Hmm, maybe you should take it off, just in case?"
I have to admit, it's not a bad idea. Of course, once I get started, there's no reason to leave the bra on either, as he so obligingly points out. "Now, isn't that better?" he asks, wrapping his arm around my back and taking my entire breast in his warm palm.
"Yeah," I sigh, happily tucked into his side. I close my eyes and reach for his morning woody. It's basically a grope and tug exercise, making up in efficiency what it lacks in emotional depth. And yet, those last few strokes before his climax, Edward manages to pull me inside his pleasure with a deep groan and a sharp twist of my nipple. I feel a sympathetic clenching between my legs as he flexes into my hand and beseeches me to rub harder. After the pressure's built to more than he can bear, he tightens and trembles and clutches me against his body with a ferocity that makes me shiver.
“Cullen, reservation for six,” I say sotto voce to the hostess.
“Yes, sir. Two of your party are here. This way, please.”
Isabella slips in front of me and I guide her toward the table with my hand at her hip. She really does look fantastic in her over-the-knee boots and short skirt, and it occurs to me that the two of us have had precious few relaxed dates. To be fair, tension is more our style, but clearly the down time is much needed. After she returns from her trip, I vow, I’ll take my girlfriend out for a casual dinner somewhere and we’ll just be us for a while. No friends, no parents, no princess or Black Velvet.
“Good morning, dear,” Mom says, standing to give Isabella a kiss on the cheek and pulling me in for a hug. “Sleep well?”
“Always,” I answer, omitting that my wake-up call was even more glorious.
“You always did sleep the sleep of the righteous,” Mom smirks, belatedly adding, “somehow.”
“I see we’re not wasting any time this morning, darling,” my father says, side-eyeing his wife. “Morning, kids.”
“Why’d they give us such a large table?” Isabella wonders aloud, looping the strap of her pocketbook over the chair next to my dad. I don’t blame her; he’s a safer bet any day of the week.
“Yes, Edward. Why the table for six?” Mom questions.
“Oh, I don’t know,” I hedge. “Maybe in case—”
Right on cue, in walk Riley and Sean.
“…An old friend should happen by.”
Mom gasps and rushes over to Riley, who grins ear-to-ear and turns a highly entertaining shade of pink.
“Mrs. C,” he says fondly, as Mom crushes him in a bear hug.
“What a lovely surprise!” Mom’s voice is garbled with her tears and sniffles. “Oh, let me take a look at you! You look terrific! Someone must be taking good care of you!” Her eyes shift behind Riley to an anxious Sean, shuffling restlessly and looking down at the floor.
Without missing a beat, Mom reaches her hand out and snags Sean’s, pulling him into their hug.
My eyes meet Isabella’s and we share an amused smile.
“Maybe we could learn the boy’s name before you pulverize him, darling?” Dad suggests reasonably.
Mom loosens her death grip on the two of them, and Riley shakes Dad’s hand before ending up in his arms as well. “Good to see you, son.”
“You too, sir,” he answers. “I’d like you both to meet my partner, Sean Walsh. Sean, meet Dr. and Mrs. Cullen.”
“Oh fie, Riley. You know better than that! Esme and Carlisle will do, Sean. Come on, let’s have a seat. I’m sure Edward is starving.”
“That’s a foregone conclusion,” Riley retorts.
“Ri,” I greet him. “Glad you could make it. And thank you for bringing Mom a fresh lamb to slaughter.”
“Hi, handsome,” he says, giving me an exaggerated kiss on my cheek. “Good time with the ‘rents?”
“The usual. Mom’s out of control, Dad cleans up afterwards.”
“Ha! Sounds about right. Hey, sweet Bella,” Riley says, reaching around me to hug her. “You know, her bark is worse than her bite,” I hear him say in a soft voice to my girl.
“It’s fine,” Bella answers semi-convincingly.
“Sean, thanks for coming. I knew my parents would want to meet you.”
“Hey, man,” he answers, shaking my offered hand. “Hi, Bella,” he adds, taking a seat to my right after a brief two-step where Riley and Sean fumble over who would get stuck with the hot seat next to Mom.
“So, how was the opera?” Riley asks casually, as we all open our menus.
I peer around the table, watching everyone’s responses.
“Delightful!” Mom gushes.
“Highly moving,” Bella adds.
“I’m gonna have the banana pecan pancakes,” Dad answers, earning himself an elbow jab from his wife. “What? I love those!”
“Honestly, Carlisle. Are you trying to imply you didn’t have a wonderful time?”
“It was fine. I mean, I guess I could handle going once every decade.”
Mom rolls her eyes to the assembly and turns to Riley. “How are your folks?”
He gulps down some water. “Bree says they’re fine. We’re not exactly on speaking terms.”
“Oh dear. Still?” Mom asks, placing her hand over his on the table. “Their loss.”
“Always has been,” I add, feeling the familiar frustration over Biers family politics.
Riley sighs. “Seems Dad’s on some jag about grandchildren now, and how the family name is going to the grave with me.”
There’s a deathly silence around the table; suddenly the menus are terribly fascinating.
Sean clears his throat and Riley looks around, confused. “What?”
“Nothing,” I say quickly, hoping to clear the awkward out of the air.
Mom covers her face with her hands and thankfully the waitress comes over. “Do y’all know what you’d like?”
Mom retorts, “How about a ‘reset’ button?” sending the girl next to me into a fit of giggles.
“Esme, it’s fine,” Isabella says.
Riley’s head whips around to the two of us, realizing this is not at all about him. “Oh crap,” he says, then mumbles, “Excuse my language, Mrs. C. Why didn’t someone shut me up?”
“I’ll have the banana pecan pancakes,” Dad says, smiling at the waitress and handing her his folded menu.
“Yogurt-granola parfait for me,” Isabella orders.
I follow with, “I’ll have the Empire State Special with bacon and ham, plain pancakes, eggs scrambled—well done—and an onion bagel.”
Riley snorts. “You sure that’ll hold you till lunch, big guy?”
“What are you having, Sean?” I coax him. I know we can be an intimidating bunch.
“Oh, uh, Belgian waffles, please, with fresh strawberries?”
“Sure thing, honey. How about you, sir?” the server asks Riley.
“Egg-white omelet with spinach and Mozzarella cheese, English muffin, toasted dry, and a decaf skinny latte.”
I smirk and let out a derisive chuckle, which earns me a pinch from Isabella and an eye roll from Riley. Mom completes the circle with a Bloody Mary and a single soft-boiled egg.
“That’s it?” I inquire.
“Yes,” she says, clapping shut her menu and passing it across to the waitress. “Your father is all talk. He’ll eat about three-quarters of one pancake and call it quits and I’ll end up finishing for him.”
“So, Sean,” Dad starts, seemingly disregarding Mom's dig, “tell us how you met Riley.”
Sean turns instantly to Riley. “Well, go ahead, Shawnee,” he says with a huge smile. Sean’s hesitation causes all of us to take particular interest. Of course, I know how they met, but I’ve never heard Sean tell their story.
“I, um…”—he clears his throat—“I got dragged out one night by a bunch of friends...”
I notice that Riley grabs Sean’s hand under the table and gives him an encouraging squeeze.
He continues, “We were all messing around on the dance floor…Riley kind of...”
The two of them look at each other as if they’re the only ones at the table, and without speaking, Riley takes the baton and picks up the thread of the story for him. “I saw this incredibly sexy guy strutting his stuff on the middle of the dance floor…”
“Oh god,” Sean mumbles, dropping his chin to his chest and turning bright red from the tips of his ears to his collar.
“What, babe? You know you’ve got the moves!” Riley turns from Sean to face my dad. “Anyway, I went right up behind him and started dancing with him.”
Mom slaps a hand over her heart and sighs dramatically, causing me to burst out laughing, because the real story was anything but the romantic version she’s writing in her head. Riley grabbed that poor boy by the hips and pulled Sean’s ass right into his lap; then he ran his hands all over Sean’s hot chest and got him so worked up he could barely stand; and for the grand finale, Riley sucked the boy’s ear lobe right into his mouth and Sean had absolutely no choice but to go home with him that night.
“They’re all kind of a trip, don’t you think?” Sean confides in me as we’re saying our goodbyes outside. “I mean, I know Riley basically considers them his own parents, so I hope I made a good impression.”
“You did great, Sean,” I reassure him. “They weren’t judging you; they just genuinely wanted to get to know you. They clearly love Riley like a son and just want to know he’s in good hands.”
Sean blushes and I instantly regret my wording. This poor guy is such an easy mark.
“Come on, gorgeous,” says Riley, coming up behind Sean and giving him a love tap on his ass that turns him even brighter red. “I have plans for you.”
Edward, standing behind the two of them, smiles wickedly at me, and I know Riley’s statement applies to us as well. Riley and Sean pass through the receiving line, saying thank you and promising to take good care of each other, before hailing a taxi and slipping away into the slushy streets of the city.
“Here’s our car, sweetie,” Mom says, spying the Prius along the curb. Dad dutifully wheels the two suitcases over to the waiting valet while Mom starts the epic goodbye. “Edward, you don’t know how happy you’ve made your old Mom. Spinach, perfect girlfriend, opera…”
Edward chuckles, “I’m sure my girlfriend is happy to play second fiddle to a soggy green vegetable, Mom.”
She waves away his comment and turns to me. “I’m sure Isabella knows what I mean, even if I don’t always say it according to Emily Post.”
“Emily Post?” His laughter turns into a loud guffaw. “Seriously, I think you’d have to dial it back to hit George Carlin!”
“Now what did he do?” Carlisle asks playfully, wrapping his arm around Esme at the curb.
“Apparently, your son feels that I was too harsh on his girlfriend.”
“My son, eh?” Carlisle grins. “Now I know you’ve gone and done it, Edward.”
Esme takes both my gloved hands in hers while the men fumble with hugs and loud back pats. “Dear Isabella, I hope you’ll forgive me all my coarseness. Sometimes my mouth trudges on ahead of my brain. But you have to know how crazy happy we are that Edward has landed a girl as clearly ideal for him as you.”
“I’m the lucky one,” I answer quite honestly.
“Yes,” she agrees. “You’re lucky, too.” Then Esme sighs a big, long, motherly, contended sigh. “My son was always a wonderful boy, and now he’s a wonderful man. It’s never easy for a mother to let go of such a creature, but I have to say, for the first time, Isabella…I feel as if he’s with someone who truly loves him not just for who he is right now”—she trails off wistfully before continuing—“but for his potential. And don’t you let him fall short of all that he can be.” The corners of her eyes shimmer with unshed tears. Poor Esme has gone all emotional. Must be the Bloody Mary.
“Don’t you worry, Esme. I won’t.” I wink at her just before she swoops me into her arms for a tight hug.
“All right, young lady,” Carlisle cuts in. “My turn to say goodbye.”
“Thank you for everything,” I tell him.
“This was nothing. When you come out to Philly, we’ll show you the town.” He leans in with a conspiratorial whisper, “Don’t worry, we’ll leave the so-called culture out of it and show you the true hot spots—Geno’s cheese steaks and South Street. “
“Sounds wonderful,” I respond. “And the Liberty Bell?”
“Meh, if you must, but you know it has a giant crack in it?” He grins, and I see one last glimpse of my Edward in thirty years’ time. “They just don’t make ‘em like they used to.”
“No, dear, they sure don’t,” Esme crackles, taking Carlisle by the elbow and drawing him toward the car. “You kids take good care of each other now. Edward, eat your veggies.”
“Bye, Mom. Safe travels, Dad. Precious cargo and all,” Edward sings, clearly a refrain from his childhood.
I look on as Carlisle lovingly tucks his wife into the passenger side, then gives us a final wave before climbing into the driver’s seat. It’s hard to believe how much life is contained in that tiny little hybrid as it pulls away from the curb.
Edward wraps his arm around my waist and tucks me close. “Sad?” I ask him.
“A little melancholy I guess. They’re still so vital—”
“I’ll say!” I cut in, causing him to chuckle.
“Yeah, I know, Mom’s a spitfire. I just hope they’ll keep each other young for a long time.”
I rest my cheek against his overcoat. “I know.”
It’s bitter cold outside, but the walk isn’t too long and I can definitely use a little activity after that feast.
“Thanks for giving up all your free time to help me entertain my parents,” I tell her.
She looks up from my lapels, slightly surprised. “You don’t have to thank me, Edward. I loved getting to know them. They’re so damn proud of you.”
“I’m lucky. I got a great set of parents. I still get angry when I think about what Riley went through growing up. Thank God he’s well-adjusted enough as an adult to know how fucked-up they are and not think there’s something wrong with him.”
“Sounds like he pretty much adopted your family?”
“Yeah, my folks always had a place for him at the dinner table, or you know, a spare bed.”
“Bet he would’ve rather have slept in yours,” she teases, not too far off the mark.
“No doubt, but it’s never been a problem for us. I mean, I’ve always loved Riley. I never thought too much about defining it. There really isn’t a name for what we have.”
She takes in my words for a few steps, then suggests, “Brothers?”
“In some ways. But the truth is, we probably always got along a lot better without the blood relation.”
“Mm, and speaking of blood lines…”
“Oh no, we’re going there again?”
“No, I was just going to say it was fun to maybe get a glimpse of the future you.”
“Oh yeah? Do tell. What’s the future me?” This could prove to be as insightful as Dad’s birth order analysis. Next we’ll be discussing zodiac signs.
“Well, first off, you’re obviously growing into your father’s features.”
“That’s a good thing, right?” I ask, somewhat amused. I’ve always regarded Dad as a good-looking man, for an old guy.
“Yeah, Edward. Your dad’s a hottie.”
“Ha ha ha ha! Okay, thanks for telling me!” I pull out my phone and pretend to text. “Hey, Dad. Just wanted you to know my girlfriend wants in your pants.”
She shoves a balled-up, gloved fist into my heavily padded arm, which is completely ineffectual. “Gross!”
“Aw come on. Not really. I mean, your mom’s pretty smokin’, too!” I say, just to get a rise out of her. She doesn’t disappoint.
“You are a pervert, Edward Cullen.”
“As if I didn’t already know that, and thanks for reminding me just in time for our big overnight scene.”
“Hey, you’re not going to forget the morning assist, are you, mister?” she says, looking up at me hopefully.
“Sorry, sweetheart. That was your boyfriend in bed with you. Master keeps a separate scorecard.”
She frowns and asks, “Well, what’s the score?”
I kiss the tip of her nose and answer, “Same as always. Whatever I want it to be.”
“Oh,” she answers, crestfallen, even though I know she’s not.
“Listen, about today’s scene, I want to try something a little bit different.”
“Oh god, different? How can that be good?”
“Oh ye of little faith,” I tease, confident she has complete faith in me.
“Are you asking me?”
“Well, in a manner of speaking, yes. Remember when you were filling out your checklist, and it came to the part about role play?”
“Well, if you’ll recall, you rated that a ‘desirable’ activity.”
“Okaaaay?” Cue blush.
“I want to try something today, and I’ll direct it, naturally—”
I smile. She’s nervous, and it’s totally endearing. “The thing is, role play requires your input and creativity in a way that a standard scene does not. In a very real way, you have significant control over how the scene plays out, within the boundaries I set.”
“So, kind of a ‘write-your-own adventure’ then?”
“That’s a good way of putting it, yes.”
“How will I know what to do? It’s so much easier when you just tell me…or make me,” she adds, this last bit causing her to look down to the slippery sidewalk.
“I know,” I answer. “That’s why the role play is so delicious. You get that much more control in the scene, but the consequences are then…on you.”
“I’m not sure I understand,” she answers, slowing her pace, anxiety creeping in.
“Hey,” I say, stopping altogether and tipping her face up to mine. “I’ll be right there the whole time, you’ll see.”
Her expression looks pained, and I hasten to explain. “It gives you a chance to be creative, which I think you’ll really enjoy. And it gives me a chance to engage with you, not knowing how it’s all going to come out.”
Wow, I never looked at it that way before. But it’s not new for me to regard the dominant’s role as less desirable.
“Why is this making you so apprehensive?” he asks.
“Edward, you’re really good at this. What if I ruin the scene? I feel like I’m just going to be acting, whereas normally, I really…”
“You’re really living it.”
Good thing he’s holding me up when that pile of bricks falls on my head. Guess what, Bella? Your fantasies aren’t fantasies anymore; they’re real. Which makes the rest of this…what? I look into his gleaming eyes, waiting so patiently for me to connect the dots. I give him a slight nod. Yes, I’m really living it.
“Welcome to my world, Isabella,” Edward says, evoking the scene outside the entrance to Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, Gene Wilder’s animated expression holding all the promise of soon-to-be-revealed secrets and shared delights. “You still with me?” He dips down slightly so he can look levelly into my eyes.
“Good. So, here’s the deal. We’re going to start off with this role play, but just for a couple hours. And then, we’ll switch gears.”
I feel relief seep into my bones. “You mean, you’ll take over again.”
“Yes,” he smiles. “Role play isn’t true dominant and submissive play, and Master’s not about to give up his sleepover. I just wanted a chance to get our feet wet with this. We’ll take a break to process and then we’ll move on.”
“Okay.” I can’t see how helping direct the scene will be as exciting for either of us, but I am eager to see how it works.
“Okay,” he repeats, a bright smile on his face. “Now, I need twenty minutes alone in the apartment before you come up.” My stomach flips, imagining what he might be setting up. It’s best not to try and guess.
“So I’m wandering the streets then?”
“With purpose,” he says, reaching into his interior coat pocket and pulling out some folded sheets of paper. “You have some homework before you come upstairs. Here’s the setting and character profiles,” he explains, handing me one of the sheets.
“So I get to see your character profile as well?”
Devilish wink. “No, sweetheart. There are two different character profiles for you. You get to pick who you want to be. I already know who I am.”
My innards go entirely gooey.
I see the exact moment the gleam appears in his eye, and I’m no longer speaking with Edward, but my Master. He hands me the rest of the pages. “And these are the rules you’ll be following.”
I reach for the papers, but he holds fast to them. “Hang on, the scene starts when I give you these. I need to tell you something first.”
Oh man, now what? “Okay?”
I have almost no bare skin exposed to the elements, but Edward tips my scarf down and out of the way, finding my lips with his and warming me from the inside out. And when he’s done kissing the guts out of me, he pulls back slightly, aims those high beams on me and says, “Thank you for trusting me. I want you to have fun with this. Don’t be nervous.”
And just when my shoulders start to unclench, he goes and says, “Study up. And whatever you do, don’t be late. Are you ready, princess?”
“Yes, Master,” I whisper into the ominous January sky.
“Knock on the door at…” he checks his watch, “1:40. I’ll collar you then.”