Saturday, August 11, 2012

73 SUPPORT

~Chapter 73~
SUPPORT

HE
It’s strange knowing she’s not upstairs as I hang my coat on the hook behind my chair. The office somehow lacks its usual warmth and sense that anything is possible. I’m restless and unfocused and my head is all over the place, and I’m not going to be productive until I sort out a few personal matters, starting with the mentorship offer Marcus made.

~/~

“Take your time. Come find me in the den when you’re ready,” Marcus directed, closing the bathroom door on his way out. It struck me that this was a first. Privacy is simply incompatible with servitude. He’d relieved me of my collar; yet, I was still here.

I luxuriated in the shower, taking my time with the rugged-smelling body wash and shampoo, soaping my spent body. I was sore in places that had never been touched before, and while I never cared to repeat the experience, I was grateful for the insight. I was man enough to admit there was a fair amount of pleasure that would always be associated with this particular memory. Marcus saw to that.

I toweled myself dry, making that transition from submissive to regular-guy-slash-aspiring-dom for the very last time. I retrieved my folded clothes from the shelf where I’d left them 48 hours earlier. Before…everything.

The last lesson.

The final frontier, I snorted to myself. To boldly go where no man has gone before. And no man will ever go again.

The recent memory of the extended anal training session spurred me to quickly pull on my jeans, having honored Marcus’s No Underwear rule to the last. The rough denim fabric chafed but I gritted my teeth and pulled on my tee-shirt and sweater. I grabbed my socks and shoes and carried them out to the couch.

As I rounded the furniture, I was shocked by the sight of him; freshly showered as well, sporting a damp head of dark hair, an AC/DC concert shirt, and a pair of snug dark blue jeans.

“What’s wrong? Never seen a guy in well-fitting jeans before?” he quipped.

“Never seen you in anything but black. It never occurred to me you had anything else in your wardrobe.”

Marcus chuckled and invited me to sit, which turned out to be easier said than done. He did his best to stifle a smile and at least had the good graces to look sheepish about my discomfort. I managed my socks and shoes while he talked.

“Well, this is actually a fitting final lesson, if what you take away is the importance of thorough aftercare,” he said.

“Thanks for making this a teaching moment,” I said sarcastically.

He opened his arms and grinned. “It’s what I do. Seriously though, Edward, any lingering questions?”

“Marcus, we just talked for an hour during the aftercare session. Thanks but I think I’ve hit my max.”

He leaned forward, elbows on his knees, hands clasped between them. “Fair enough. You have my cell and my email. Use them if you need to.”

“Thanks, I will,” I reassured him.

“And Edward, when you’re ready for a tune-up, you come back to me. No charge.”

I looked up, surprised. “That’s very generous of you.” This was his livelihood, not just a hobby or a way to get his rocks off, though it certainly served that purpose as well, I recalled with a healthy dose of smug satisfaction.

Marcus reached across and tapped my thigh. “You never noticed I didn’t cash your checks after the first one?”

“What?” Like most people of my generation, I have a somewhat trusting—otherwise known as lazy—relationship with my bank account. And while I always made sure my deposits registered, I tended to be somewhat blasé about making sure my checks cleared. So no, I had no idea what he’d been doing all this time.

“I only cashed the first one to pay for your supplies. Here,” he said, offering me a large shopping bag. Taking a cursory glance inside, I recognized the paddle, crop, and whip he’d used on me, and I heard a bunch of smaller toys rattling around. No doubt the plugs and clamps and cuffs I’d grown somewhat accustomed to.

“Marcus,” I started, and had to stumble over a lump in my throat. “I don’t know what to say.”

Marcus spoke softly, but as usual, his words packed a huge punch. “Edward, from the first time I saw you, I knew I wouldn’t take a dime for training you. I’ve never had such a highly motivated student before, and frankly, it doesn’t hurt your cause that you’re beautiful...and exactly my type.”

This last bit, he added wistfully, and I had to look away while he continued.

“All I ask is that you treat your subs with the utmost care and call me when you have a problem. This isn’t always as easy as it looks, and you’re going to need support. I’m here for you.”

I nodded and thanked him once more.

“If you want to call me when you’re ready to dom for the first time, I would give anything to observe you. Seeing you in all your dominant glory would be remarkable.”

Tears pooled in my eyes, and after all I’d been through with Marcus, this talk felt as intimate as the rest of it. I stood and walked to where he was just rising from the couch. I spread my arms in invitation, and Marcus embraced me tightly. I felt his muscular chest against mine, the firmness of his grasp, the comfort of being in his skilled arms and compassionate presence.

He pulled back and commanded me one final time, “Make me proud, Edward.”

Overcome with emotion and gratitude, I leaned forward and kissed him gently on the lips. He went uncharacteristically slack against my mouth, and my tongue boldly breached the border, finding his tongue available on the other side. I took the lead on the kiss, impelled by curiosity and the desire to express my deep appreciation, and soon Marcus was returning my gesture, cautiously following my lead.

Just before I broke off our kiss, he cupped my cheek so tenderly with his hand, I actually felt dizzy for a moment. When I pulled back, I saw that his eyes were closed, and he wore a wide, contented smile.

“If you’re not smiling, I don’t want to open my eyes,” he said.

“Open your eyes, you lovesick fool,” I teased, knowing I was smiling, too.

His soft blue eyes blinked open. He took one look at me, I shook my head, and he said, “Okay, you can go now.”

~/~

“Is the bank open for business or can you talk?”

“I’m expecting someone in five minutes, but he’ll be at least ten minutes late.”

“Pain slut?”

“No, just really bad manners and a flat learning curve. Anyway, enough about me. What are you thinking?”

I can hear the edge to Marcus’s voice. He wants this. “Honestly, Marcus, I can’t see trusting her to anyone other than you.”

There’s a bit of a pause while he gathers himself. “Tell me about her,” he says quietly.

she
“Bella, you know we’ve looked at this from every conceivable angle. If they don’t hire us to do their marketing, it’s just not a good fit.”

“Yeah, yeah, I know.” I suck in yet another deep breath, cursing my chronic performance anxiety. No matter how prepared, how competent my co-workers, how flashy our presentation, it hits me like a herd of wildebeests making their home in my intestines—every damn time. Looking around the round table into the faces of my hard-working team, I know I need to pull myself together. I’m the leader, and it won’t do for me to show weakness.

“One more for the road?” offers Roger.

“Thanks, but I think I’m going to head upstairs and make it an early night.” I mumble some excuse about jet lag and make a hasty retreat.

Back in the privacy of my room, I make my third and final obsessive pass around the electronic circuit, ensuring that green lights are on and chargers are behaving. I strip off Corporate Bella and make my way to the luxurious tub, remembering how Master wished for exactly such a fixture just yesterday. I drizzle a generous stream of lavender-scented bubble bath into the torrent of hot water and settle in for a long, relaxing soak. My head lolls back into the embrace of the terry cloth roll conveniently suctioned to the porcelain basin. The moment my eyes close, I’m transported back to the security of Master’s spa, where I was lovingly scrubbed, coiffed, and filled to the brim with his tenderness. If only I’d accepted his offer to hide in my carry-on bag!

The longer I soak, the more intense my longing for reconnection with Edward, until finally, the burning need to speak with him motivates me out of my bubble bath stupor. After a hasty swipe with my toothbrush, I pull on my cami and cheekies, feeling small in the too-big-for-one King bed, and check the alarm a fourth time. With my lifeline in hand in the pitch black, I speed dial Edward and enjoy the warm tingle of his familiar voice in my ear.

“Hey,” is all it takes for me to feel him wrapped around me like my own personal cocoon. “How was your evening?”

“Fine. How was Riley’s?”

“It was amusing.”

With my eyes closed, I can easily picture his wide smile. “What have you done to those boys now, Edward?”

“Moi?”

Mr. Innocent.

“Give it up, Cullen.”

His rich laughter spills into my ear. “I promise you, I did nothing more than observe. But I’ve concluded that those two love an audience.”

“For what?” I squawk, all kinds of ideas popping to mind.

He chuckles again. “Foreplay, just foreplay.”

“You better start talking.” Without giving away the first detail, he already has me in a tailspin, imagining Riley and Sean touching each other while Edward watches. Or, be still my girly parts, while Edward joins the action.

Edward’s voice shifts to a lower register, and most of the playfulness seeps out of his tone. “You sure you can handle it?”

I hunker down with the same twinge of eager anticipation I feel queuing up a spicy porn clip. I’m sure he hears the lust in my voice when I answer, “Jesus, what went on there tonight?”

“Tell me what you’re wearing first.”

“Seriously?” I giggle. “Isn’t that kind of cheesy?”

“You want details… I want details.”

“Fine. Green cheekies and a matching top.”

“No shit. Lace?”

“Yes.”

Fuck me.” He takes a long pause. “What shade of green?”

“EDWARD!”

“Sorry, sorry. You sidetracked me. Don’t you even want to ask what I’m wearing?”

“Pffffft. What’s the difference? I know where your hand is right now.”

“You would be correct. How about joining me?”

“I’d love to, honey, but I don’t really think I can reach your dick from here.”

“Ho ho ho. Come on, baby. One hand on your phone and the other down those panties.”

“We’re really doing this?”

“We’re really doing this. Tell me when you’re ready.”

His voice has slipped back into velvet mode, and I’m more than ready. I have no idea why I’m feeling embarrassed alone in my room, especially knowing he’s doing exactly the same back in our bed. “Ready,” I whisper.

HE
As a highly sexualized hetero man, I’ll own up to harboring a passing curiosity or two about my good friend Riley over the years. Not that I’ve ever craved his attentions for myself, but I happen to be powerfully attracted to attraction itself.

To me, there’s almost nothing more arousing than that hungry look two people give each other that says, “If I don’t get on top of you/under you/inside you in the next five minutes, I will positively implode!” I couldn’t care less if the parties involved happen to own the same equipment—it’s the eyes and the mouth that tell the whole story. Of course, you can never discount the hands.

Don’t get me wrong, hard core porn works for me when I’m in the mood, and I rarely waste my time on faces, but that’s acting. I mean, it’s usually pretty awful acting, but give me two real people who can’t keep their eyeballs off each other and I’ve got all I need.

Though inhibition is hardly in Riley’s vocabulary, Sean has apparently been holding back in my presence thus far. Not so tonight.

“You know how I told you that Sean likes to cook?”

“Mmhmm?” Her voice sounds dreamy.

“Well, he doesn’t just cook. He owns that kitchen, and everyone in it.”

“Oh yeah? That’s a switch!”

“It was. He had Riley doing all his scut work, and let me tell you, Ri was loving it!”

“You’re kidding!” Isabella giggles.

“That may have had something to do with the fact that Sean was standing behind him, pressing himself into Riley’s ass and licking his neck while he was expected to be rolling pizza dough.”

“Really?”

“Really. They draw me over to the counter with a glass of wine, clearly to watch, and then Sean orders him to keep rolling while he clutches Riley’s package.”

“Right in front of you?” Her voice is breathy and disbelieving.

“Not two feet away. Are you touching yourself, Isabella?”

“Yes. Are you?”

“You bet I am.”

“Then what?” she asks.

“Sean surprises Riley by roughly grabbing a handful of his hair and then…” dramatic pause “…Sean takes over Riley’s mouth with this urgent kiss that leaves poor Riley panting like an overheated dog.”

“Wow.”

“Yeah, wow. And of course, Riley’s not rolling the dough anymore at this point, so Sean whacks him on his ass and says, ‘Roll.’ And I’m watching my friend’s face, thinking maybe finally he’ll turn red, and damn, if he doesn’t sprout the biggest smirk I have ever seen. So I look behind him and Sean shoots me this sexy, knowing wink, and I’m thinking, There’s more to this guy than meets the eye.”

And here’s where things get tricky in the story telling department. I’ve already embellished what was merely a sweet kiss and a love tap, but I want to keep the fantasy going without making it so unbelievable that she becomes distracted.

Enter the alcohol.

“Sean slides the wine bottle over to me and says, ‘Here’s your job for the night, Edward. Make sure we’re all good and lubricated.’”

“Type casting,” Isabella interjects.

“You’re too kind, babe. Well, as you might imagine, I take my directions to heart, and as the wine bottle gets emptier, their hands get more and more adventuresome. They can’t pass each other without sliding a palm across the other’s crotch or ass, and I honestly feel like I’m the only thing stopping them from ripping each other’s clothes off and going at it right there on the kitchen floor.”

“Mmm, too bad.”

Time to shift gears. “You know what was really too bad? That you weren’t there with me, because I swear, Isabella, watching those two? I would’ve bent you right over that counter…”

“Yes?” her small voice begs me to continue.

“…and yanked down those green lace cheekies…”

“Mmm?”

“…and teased you till you begged for it.”

She moans again, and I increase the pressure with my wanking hand.

“You know how you love it when I tease you, Isabella. Tell me how you love it.”

“Mm, I do.” She’s a little shy, hesitant.

“Tell me what I’m doing to you, baby.”

Pause.

“Don’t think. Just tell me what you see. What you feel.”

Exhale. Then, “You’re drawing through my…pussy…”

“Mmm, yes, your very, very wet pussy.”

“Yesss,” she hisses. “With just one finger.”

“Yes, I am,” I help. “Slow, torturous strokes, and you’re so, so naughty, you’re pushing into my finger, trying for more.”

“Yes, please.”

“Not yet, Isabella. Not until you say what you want, in front of the boys.”

“Gahhhh. I want…more.”

Not good enough. “Tell me what you want, baby. I want to hear your words.”

“Please, I need you to touch me. Harder, more fingers, more touching.”

I can practically see her fingers gliding around inside those green cheekies now, almost hear her juices gurgle through the phone line if I concentrate with all my might. My own dry palm is grossly inadequate, and I happily remember the jar of massage oil parked on my nightstand. A few seconds later, I’m oiled up and right with her in Slosh City.

“Oh that was good begging, baby. Just for that, you can have a second finger, but keep it slow, just like you know I would. Up…and down. Just like you’re doing to me right now, you bad girl. You reached right back and now you’re stroking me so sweet, baby.”

“Please, Edward. Rub me harder? I need the heel…of your hand…please?”

“Do it, sweetheart.  Work that clit! And don’t forget about me back here. We’re doing this together.”

“Never. I’d never forget you. Mmmm, so close.”

“Come on, baby. Let’s give them a show. Look at them watching your beautiful face while they stroke each other. Show them how I get you off, baby.”

“Ahhhhh, coming, coming, COMING!!!”

Her squeaks, squeals, and stutter breaths form the soundtrack for my own peak, and I let go in three long, gratifying spurts. She sighs into the phone just before breaking up into a fit of giggles.

she
“Well, that was fun.” Just in case he couldn’t tell by my shuddering orgasm and embarrassing torrent of giggles. I’ve flipped onto my back and I’m too lazy to even roll onto my side for sleep.

“Mmm, yes.”

“So, Edward…have you done that a lot?”

“What? Phone sex?”

“Yes.”

“I suppose I’ve had my fair share,” he answers lazily.

Somehow, I feel like Edward’s “fair share” is enough for twenty ordinary mortals. “So did any of that really happen tonight?”

I can hear and actually see his smile. “What do you think?”

“I was kind of buying into the groping…?”

“Wellll…”

“You turkey! You made the whole thing up?” I can’t muster the energy to really be mad at him.

“No, no, there was touching, and kissing, and a definite swat, I promise.”

“Oh brother. You know what? I couldn’t care less. That was really hot.”

He chuckles at my change of heart. “Exactly.”

I have to admit, this is the most relaxed I’ve felt all day. “Thanks, Edward. I needed that.”

“Hey, are you holding up okay?”

“Sure, now I am. If I could do the presentation right this minute, I’d be golden. Well, except for the being in my underwear part.”

“Are you kidding? That’d be the easiest sales job ever recorded!” he encourages.

“Good point, maybe I should consider that. I tend to let my nerves get the better of me. What starts out as a flutter of nerves turns into a churning tornado in my gut and I just can’t seem to quell the storm.”

I can already feel my calm slipping away and I sigh loudly into the phone. It’s not as if he can do anything to help from there.

“Listen to me,” he starts, his voice clear and focused. Masterful, even. Oh.

“Yes?”

“You probably don’t realize this, but your submissive training has provided you with all kinds of skills to help you with this problem.”

“Hmm, so what you’re saying is, I should climb under the Board Room table tomorrow and suck off the CEO?”

Chuckle. “Uh…no. Please don’t do that.”

“Let’s see then,” I guess, pulling him into the game. “I should bend over the table and offer myself for a spanking?”

This time, he makes a long, threatening noise.

“Did you just growl at me?”

“Not at you. I growled at all the imaginary people I have to kill now.”

“Oh shoot. I hate it when that happens,” I giggle.

“If you’re finished torturing me…”

“Okay, okay.  Sorry. Go ahead.”

“Hmmph! I was referring to the work we’ve been doing together on your focus. When we’re in scene, you have one job—pleasing your Master. When you stray from the ideal, you get yourself into trouble. That’s when doubts, distractions, and fear slip in. See where I’m going with this?”

“You want me to think about pleasing my Master while I’m delivering our Marketing pitch to the Warwick Board of Directors? I don’t really think that’s going to be productive,” I tease.

“Ha, ha, ha. Believe it or not, baby, this is one time I really do not want you concentrating on Master. But do find your clear focus there, because you know you can, and then swap out Master for the collective personnel of the prospective client. In all seriousness, Isabella, will you try it? For me?”

“Sure. It can’t hurt.”

“Exactly. And I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how far you’ve come. What time do you present?”

“First thing, 8 am.”

“All right, listen. I can’t call you in the morning because I’ll be in session with my first group, so please send me a message the second you’re through and let me know how it went?”

“Sure. I’m guessing we’ll be in there a couple hours, so around one, your time.”

“Okay, baby. Sleep tight.”

“You, too, Edward. And good luck with the big shot training.”

“I love you, Isabella,” he says warmly.

“You, too.”

HE
My Blackberry is set to vibrate, and even though I don’t have all the fancy iPhone apps, I can count on my phone to be “smart” enough to at least deliver the proper signal when Isabella contacts me. I’m doing a fairly good job of keeping my attention on Excel macros, even though it’s nearly time for Isabella’s presentation to begin.

I forge on. “So the next step is to list the keystrokes for—”

Bzzzzzzzzz. Bzzzzzzzzz. Bzzzzzzzzzzz. Bzzzzzzzzz.

“Excuse me, I just need to check this,” I tell the faces around the table of propped open laptops as I slide my phone from my pocket and glance at the screen.

BOGGLE BOGGLE BOGGLE!!!!!

Holy shit! Isabella’s texted me her safe word? Not once but three times? And in bold caps?

“I’m very sorry, gentleman. I have an emergency I must attend to right away. Just…keep…whatever.”

I rush out of the conference room, my heart skipping an anxious beat. I quickly dial her number and she picks up on the first ring.

“Edward?” Her voice is a panicked cry.

“Isabella? What is it?” I ask as calmly as possible.

“My laptop crashed five minutes after the presentation started. I can’t get to our power point!”

“Nobody else on your team has the file?” It comes out more scolding than questioning and I remind myself to suspend the lectures for later. Right now is about damage control and a workable solution.

“No, Edward,” she says tightly. “Not with us.”

“Okay, I don’t suppose you have the power point on a memory stick?”

“Nope. Would I be panicking right now if I did?” Her hysteria is mounting. She needs my confidence.

“Isabella, I’m going to get you your file. Just stay calm, all right?” My mind is bouncing around like a pogo stick, a hierarchy of solutions presenting themselves to me in a practiced routine. “Your file’s on the Swan server, right?”

“Yes, of course. I’m not an idiot, Edward. I know about backups.”

“Okay, no worries, we’ll go for the workaround.” I take in my surroundings and quickly locate the nearest workstation. It’s the administrative assistant to Nichols, the old codger who pressed me last week, and her name plate identifies her as Debbie Waters.

“Excuse me, Debbie? I have an emergency on my hands. May I borrow your computer for a quick second?”

She looks up quizzically. “Who are you?”

“Sorry, Edward Cullen from IT.” Don’t worry, ma’am. I’m a trained professional.

She narrows her eyes and evaluates me carefully before sliding off her chair and standing next to me with crossed arms and a vigilant, suspicious stare.

“Thank you so much,” I say, taking over her computer like a policeman seizing a civilian car to give chase to a criminal.

Remembering the girl in my ear, I confirm, “Okay, I found it. Warwick Pres final, right?”

“Yes.” She sounds slightly relieved anyway.

“Here’s what we’re going to do. I’m going to set you up a drop box account and you’re going to retrieve the file using the prospective client’s own system.”

“Is that safe?”

Ordinarily, I would find her question laughable. She hasn’t taken any of the numerous appropriate precautions that would’ve prevented this situation, and now she’s worried I’m going to jeopardize security? Again, I bite my tongue and save the teachable moment for later, berating myself at the same time for failing to have quizzed her further before she left.

“Is there anything in the file beyond what you were planning to present?”

“No.”

“Then there’s nothing to worry about. Give me three minutes to set this up and I’ll text you the password. In the meantime, borrow a laptop from someone, hook it up to your screen, get someone to log you onto the internet, and type in dropbox dot com.” While I walked her through, I uploaded the file to the cloud and set up the access codes.

“Okay, it’s all set up on my end. I’ll send the text. Keep your wits, Isabella. Remember, people show their true mettle when things go wrong.”

“Thanks, Edward. I really appreciate this.”

“I’m here to serve. Call me later.”

“Okay, thanks,” she says once again.

As soon as I hang up, I send the text:

Password = IOweEdwardBig!

she
My finger is poised over the letter “E”, and I’m bursting with my good news.

“See you in a few hours,” I mumble to the team as I step out onto my floor, key in one hand and phone in the other. I can’t even wait to get out of the crowded hallway before calling.

“So?” he answers, anticipation, if not anxiety, in his tone.

“Edward. Hey.” The electronic lock hums and clicks and I push open my door and collapse on the bed, heels and all. “You still putting the big wigs through their paces?”

“I am, but they’re working independently right now. Talk to me. How’d it go?”

“We were great. They loved us.”

I hear the rush of air fill his lungs, then dissipate, taking with it the knot inside his chest. “That’s fantastic, sweetheart.”

“Yeah. The presentation went really well, and now they’re reviewing all the numbers in closed session. We go back for Q & A tomorrow and final contract negotiations.”

“So…did you get a chance to try out anything new this morning?”

“Are you asking me if I was calm for the ten minutes before my world came crashing down around me?”

“Yes,” he laughs. “I guess I am.”

“Okay, try not to get a big head, but it actually did help.”

“Hey, that’s great to hear, Isabella. I’m really proud of you.”

I can hear that he means it, and that only makes me feel worse for my earlier eruption. “Edward, I feel awful. I was a real bitch.”

“Don’t give it another thought. I’m used to dealing with people in crisis situations. You think you’re the first person to snap at me over a dead computer? It’s upsetting. I get that.”

And now I feel worse. “I’m really embarrassed. And so, so sorry. You saved my ass, big time.”

“Well you know how much I love your ass.” Edward’s boyish grin fills my entire imaginary visual field.

“Lovely password, by the way.”

“Mmm. I thought you’d enjoy that.”

I kick off my shoes and close my eyes. “Any ideas how I might repay my knight in shining silicon?”

“I might just put my head together with Master’s and come up with something interesting for later.”

The butterflies are back, but it’s the good kind this time—the kind that flutter all over my insides, waking up my senses and electrifying every nerve ending. “Interesting, huh? That has an ominous sound to it.”


He laughs darkly. “Oh, Isabella. You know me too well.”

63 comments:

  1. Well, this chapter is aptly named...Marcus for Edward, Sean for Riley, Edward for Bella. The only thing that bothers me is the potential of having Marcus in on a scene. That potential event just makes my stomach turn. Having said that, however, I have no doubt you could find a way to make even that palatable.
    This was a wonderful chapter that provides a lot of insight into the extent of how much they "care" for each other in every sense of the word!

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    1. Oh dear, Word. Stomach turning? That is NOT GOOD! Let's shoot a little higher than palatable, shall we? *winks* Thanks for pointing out the various supportive relationships running through the story. Don't forget Isabella can be supportive too! ;)

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  2. awww instead of spanking her ass he saved it! Loved the Riley story and the Marcus background. There is so much MORE to Edward than just being a Dom. Really wonder how creative he will be when its time for his payback. She will love it!
    I really don't know how she doesn't walk around with a permanent case of goosebumps and glazed eyes he is just that powerful, even in non-related areas. Like PC repairs. Sigh want my own Master, Sir, Dark Prince, Black Velvet for a day.
    Vic

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    1. LOL on the glazed eyes and goosebumps, Vicki! Who says she doesn't?? ;)
      xxx

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  3. Loved it all! Maybe we'll be seeing a voyer seen soon with Marcus?

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    1. Well we know they have 'something' on the calendar!

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  4. Loved it, but I think i'll love her return home even more.

    I really liked how you had Edward contemplating how much he missed Isabella's presence, even from her office. That was such a sweet touch.
    So he's made the call, Marcus is going to be Princesses mentor, I love this idea.
    I enjoyed the flashback. Edward really made an impression on Marcus, so great to see. You didn't elaborate, but his problem with sitting said it all. Edward always confident realised what he meant to Marcus. Loved that he went in for that kiss, allowing Marcus the pleasure and giving a heartfelt thank you for all that he had done for him.

    I felt Isabella's pain, missing her Man, and his support. So cute their phone interaction. Edward embellishing on the story a little, but so good.

    Ha, ha, getting all technical with the drop box, lots of IT training going on.
    Loved the password and looking forward to what Edward & Master concoct in their mind.
    So pleased the presentation was a sucess for Isabella.

    So are we having more time away, or do we get a little homeconming in the next chapter.

    I think Marcus is going to be gobsmacked when he listens to Edward gushing about 'his' Isabela/Princess. I can feel is pride from here.

    Thanks B, loved it.
    xx

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    1. Hey Whiti! Thanks for your insights on this one. Sorry, no, we're nowhere near their homecoming, girl. Come on, she's away three nights...that's about four months in BOH time!

      I think you're right about the gobsmacking! ;)
      xxx
      b

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  5. So as a thank you to Marcus, he kissed him:)
    Marcus Is the perfect mentor. I can't wait to see how he trains/helps Bella.
    Edward was quite the embellisher about dinner at Riley's:). But, you gotta do what you gotta do, when you miss your girl.
    Poor girl, I would've freaked out too, if my computer crashed. Edward will remind her next time:)
    I love the banter they had about her using her sub tendencies during the meeting. That was funny.
    Oh what will Edward/master have planned for owing him big time.
    Until the next one!

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    1. Yep, he did. Hey, I can't wait to see how he helps Bella, too. YIKES! I guess I have to write that now?? ;) You can be sure Master has plans! XX

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  6. It is fun when corporate life interacts with their play, using the focus and the safe word text! Their understanding of each other and their connection shine through every time!

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    1. Thanks, Ick. Yes, I really wanted to explore how real life weaves in with their lifestyle in this sequel, so I'm happy it's working for you! xxx b

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  7. I loved the password!! To funny :)

    I am hoping (more like praying)that Edward does not share his princess with Marcus. I don't think this is right for either one of them. I always feel the love that they have for each other, come through this story. (sorry, if that seems goofy)

    So for me, this would very sad. I guess would be the right word. I think it would make Bella, question her and Edwards relationship. Make her wonder if it was as strong as she thought...

    Anyway, I am lookng forward to next Saturday, and her return trip home. Hope you have a wonderful week, playing with Master and his princess :)

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    1. Snoopy, you are not alone in your concern. Please trust Master- and believe me when I tell you he will not put his relationship or his submissive at any risk. Thank you for your reviews and your compassion for the characters! xxx

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  8. Boh. A great chapter. I loved the Marcus background. Edward reminding Bella to use all her skills and him continuing to be her (dark) knight in shining armor. Oh yeah and the phone sex was.very hot hot hot! Especially with Edwards embellushments. I continue to r joy their relationship grow and evolve. Heari g that Edward was a bit unsettled with Bella out if town warmed my heart. Xo bb. Jo6

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    1. Hey JO6. Happy you're enjoying the story and the phone sex! ;)

      I too enjoy the soft underbelly of the boyfriend and love showing his vulnerability. Thanks for your sweet reviews. xxx b

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  9. I just love the phone sex! Marcus & Edward relationship is possible the most intriguing one for me. I am so looking forward to see him as the Mentor! Plus the mix of their real life and play time are showing signs of a 24/7 relationship. I am not saying that she has to call him "Master" all the time but the security he provides definitely makes her more comfortable. The "task" of her thinking about pleasing him with the presentation was a delight! Thanks BOH *hugs*

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    1. Interesting insight, as always, Meire. I see where you're going with the 24/7. Who knows? Maybe their epi 20 years down the road looks like 24/7? Happy you enjoy the Marcus/Edward dynamic and hope you'll enjoy his role with Bella.
      xxx
      b

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  10. GEEZ! I hope every other reader gets as much out of this story as I do, because I swear sometimes it feels like you're writing this story just for me!!

    Case in point: nice, long memory of Edward's last time with Marcus! I'm sure you know by now that I love those scenes, but I swear it's not just the pervy part of me- dying to hear more about Edward getting dominated by another strong, wise, older man! (and I can't even picture Marcus's face- not sure if you've ever described it- but he is so hot to me!)-- I just love love love the intimacy and connection between Edward and Marcus. i swooned when Edward went over to hug Marcus, and his internal monologue of how marcus felt in his arms was just honest, unflinching, and tender. I just about died when edward teared up... "Seeing you in all your dominant glory would be remarkable.” --just reading about it is pretty remarkable, Marcus! lol. I can't wait for edward and marcus to meet in person again, and for isabella to meet marcus! *eyebrow wiggle* lol

    loved the teasing, embellished story about Riley and Sean! it WAS hot! and its always lovely to see the main characters have their own lives-- sure they miss each other, but they're not going to fall apart- they have other things to do, people to see, etc. and the phone sex where they were imagining they were in the room with riley and sean??? I'm dying!!! haha

    Edward helping Isabella get her presentation- more serious swoonage! he took charge, even commandeering someone else's computer to get the job done! good boyfriend for holding off the chastisement for Isabella not having a flash drive with the presentation on it til the panic was over! and okay, he told her "I'm here to serve" seconds before sending her THAT password?!?! hot, adorable, hilarious. My face feels like it could break from smiling too hard!

    and the promise/ warning that Edward and Master will be getting together to see how Isabella can repay them- GAH, I'm dying! again!

    You're amazing, and I can't wait to spend time over at the princess's journal blog. Such a great idea!

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    1. and OMG, i forgot to comment on the E/M kiss! *gasp* how could i leave that out? it was soo beautiful. I love that in such an intimate friendship like the one they have- in that moment, it was more than socially acceptable to express Edward's gratitude and affection for Marcus with a kiss. god, i just can't even articulate how much I love E/M! I need to make myself a list of all the chapters where Marcus appears...! and.. i think I'm really done this time. haha

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    2. Why yes, sweet Digi. I would definitely write just for you! Thanks for all your sweetness and letting me know what you enjoyed in the chapter. I do have an image in mind for Marcus, happy to share with you privately. I'm so happy you enjoyed that last scene between them, where Marcus sends him out into the world to DOMINATE! And oh man, wouldn't it be fun to write/read the first scene where Edward DOES call Marcus in to oversee while he dominates some young lucky girl? You should write that, you know.

      Thanks for always taking the time to let me know what moves you. XXX b

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  11. Hideously squicked out by the Marcus flashback but the phone sex and the big save for the presentation rocked!! Wonder what Edward/Master has planned for Bella...methinks the appointment with the esthetician could be coming?? ;)

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  12. I am a sucker for a good slash scene so you got me all giddy with two separate mentions. I kinda wish for more of Edwards training. Can't wait to see what you have planned next!

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    1. LOL Jaime. You and mr h are at opposite ends of the spectrum on the slash scenes! Thanks for the review!

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  13. Ah Edward saves the day. Really enjoyed this chapter, and the phone sex was hot. Edward always knows how to get Bella going. I wonder what Edward has planned for Bella for her to return the favour? hmmm... Loved reading the interactions between Edward and Marcus.

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    1. Thanks Lisa. Glad you enjoyed their little phone tryst!

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  14. Another great one, although I must admit & agree with the above comment by Jennifer as I was also "squicked out" by the Marcus flashback. But yet, it was touching to hear Edward's thoughts as he finished his last lesson. And laughed hysterically at "The final frontier, I snorted to myself. To boldly go where no man has gone before. And no man will ever go again." I just love the comic relief!

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    1. Well good thing for warning labels, I guess! Funny, I'm watching the Star Trek movie and reading your comment. I guess this is what I get for growing up with three brothers!

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  15. Oh Edward is just too good to her! He is a dream...always calm and collected! I wonder if he will ever need Bella or rely on her like she does for him?

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    1. Excellent question, PL. It would seem only fair.
      xx
      b

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  16. He sure got his kink on her with that story, but it sounded like she didn't mind at all! Loved how Edward came to her rescue when her comp crashed, password and all!

    Excellent chapter my dear!

    CC

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    1. No, I think it's safe to say she didn't mind!
      xx

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  17. So Edward is bringing Marcus in as what? Observer? Will he be mentoring Bella? I assumed that was Edward's job! I was thinking as your flashback referenced Edward's anal training perhaps Marcus will be brought in to help ease Bella into anal? Their first time wasn't very successful as I remember. I loved how he saved her ass at her presentation. There is something very sexy about his comanding confidence. Purrrrrr....

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    1. Well Jill, they decided several chapters back that perhaps Edward/Black Velvet couldn't exactly be unbiased about his submissive and maybe it would be better for a third party to serve as her mentor. Yes, I agree commanding confidence is sexy as all get out!
      xxx

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  18. I loved this chapter! Marcus sounds like a remarkable man and Edward was lucky to have a mentor/trainer like him. I am really curious to see where Marcus is going to fit into their play time.

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    1. I seem to have aroused a bit of curiosity on this topic! Well allrighty then!
      xx

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  19. Loved the Marcus and Edward back story I'm a sucker for a bit of slash so more of their relationship would be great. Will there be any three way interaction? Loved Edwards embellishment on his night with Riley and Sean. Can't wait til bella gets back don't like them being apart phone sex just isn't enough.

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    1. We know that Edward made a date for Marcus to join them on Saturday night. He just hasn't divulged what those plans entail. Awww sweet you don't like them being apart.
      xx

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  20. very interesting chapter
    i'm glad they are talking and chatting while she is away
    they both are managing well considering

    phone sex, so hot
    oh yes, real over acting and fake is so much better anyday
    love me some boy boy, but you know that

    oh i'm sure master will come up with something wicked for his princess
    keep it cumming!

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  21. He is her knight in shining armor ...so very good...thanks.

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  22. I so enjoy how you set the scene for what's coming up - Marcus instruction as well as a little more backstory on Edward. And I found Edward's explanation of using her submissive training to handle her nerves before and during her presentation to be very interesting. You just never know how a learning experience, no matter the source, might turn into something of value down the road. Can't express how much I'm enjoying your story because you make the common, everyday banal things we all do in life fun and exciting to read about. I give credit where credit is due - to Bella and Edward (or otherwise known as you behind the scenes) and their wonderful repartee. Great chapter all around.

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    1. I do believe the focus she's learning can be extremely helpful, as can the confidence she must be accumulating in herself under her Master's tutelage. Glad you're enjoying it!

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  23. Little B!!! You know how much I LOVE to hear about Marcus and Edwards training. Thank you for that!! Cant wait till he comes to dinner and then the mentoring!!! Marcus is an amazing Dom and will be amazing for Isabella!

    As always, love me some Ri and Sean!! Even though Sean's not that outgoing...so HAWT how E embellished to make the phone sexy even better! We all know Isabella went to bed sooooo much more relaxed.

    He will always be her knight in shining silicon and so much more. LOL They seem to really be handling the seperation pretty well so far. The communication is a HUGE helper when it comes to that. Cant wait to see what Master has planned when Isabella comes home.....hmmmmmmmmm

    Loves <3

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    1. Hey s! Happy you're enjoying the Marcus storyline. Yes, I think they both went to bed happy that night. Only two more nights apart! I agree, he'll always be her hero! xxx

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  24. BOH

    BOH

    So I noticed some were squeeked out by the E/M scene...but as far as that goes to me any good Dom should know what it feels like to be a sub in some way...while I am not one who enjoys slash I did enjoy the background of E/M... it shows a bond that is strong and loving. I am hoping that Marcus will be meeting Bella/ princess soon... I tthink it will be good for princess to have someone outside of the relationship to talk to.

    Ha Edward and his password for the dropbox that was great...and using the calming effects of her submissiveness to seal the deal....

    Can't wait for these two to be reunited!!!!!!!!!!!





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    1. Hey, TwiH. Thanks for your open-mindedness about Marcus. I agree someone outside their relationship will be helpful to her. They have a date with Marcus Sat night but she doesn't know it yet, so shhhhhhhhh. We have a ways to go before they're reunited...thanks for your support for the characters.
      xx
      b

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  25. Hey hon. Enjoyed the chapter especially the flail over the crashing laptop. I've had this happen and been present when it's happened on too many occasions. I thought the chapter name was apt. There was support in every direction. I really liked the E back story with Marcus who seems like a really decent person and obviously there was a connection between them that was very honest and caring. I don't find myself necessarily disturbed by the idea of some sort of interaction between the three of them. Clearly this is something that Bella has some curiosity about. Perhaps she will find the reality less exciting than the thought. Sharing can be a real deal-breaker in reality. In other words it can appear sexy or exciting in your mind; however, when faced with it in person, the emotions evoked might be a bit unpredictable for both parties. ;)

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    1. Hey Song. I wanted to choose a really vulnerable moment for our princess where her boyfriend could actually be the dark knight. I agree with everything you said about the threesome. Rest assured that Master will manage the scene in a way that keeps his submissive well within her limits. Thanks so much for your interest in the story. xx b

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  26. I loved the scene with Marcus and the phone sex was not what I expected and that's a good thing. It was touching that Marcus didn't charge him for the lessons. It also made me kind of sad for him - unrequited affection and all. It's funny that she sent him her safeword instead of help. I guess she knew that would catch his attention more quickly. Great chapter as always. :D

    Cocoa

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    1. Aw, Cocoa. You're so sweet feeling sad for Marcus! I should probably delve a bit into his love life and give him someone really fantastic so you can move on, huh? I'd do it...for you!

      Let's face it, she could've typed "toast" and he would've gone running from that room. But yeah, the safeword triple typed and capped certainly got his attention! XXX thanks for the love!

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  27. Nice save, Edward! And I can't wait for more Marcus. That will be very interesting!

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    1. He'll be dining with our duo on Saturday. See you there! XX

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  28. 1. I adore the Edward/Marcus flashbacks. I hope they will all scene together.
    2. You scared the shit outta me when Isabella all-capps safeworded through a frickin' text. Seriously, I thought it was, well, serious. And on a serious note, is she allowed to use that word so freely? I thought it was just for Master/subbie stuff. Regardless, it scared me! *scowls at boh* Okay, time for the next chapter!

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    1. 1. Keep reading, Cara!
      2. Boggle- ironically, Isabella uses it here and NOT in scene when she needs to. Trust me, she WAS serious. Poor girl has plenty to learn. However, it WAS effective in getting Edward's attention and he didn't seem to mind their own personal version of an SOS. It's not as if he got confused because they so were NOT scening at the time.
      xx

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  29. "To boldly go where no man has gone before. And no man will ever go again." I continue to be utterly captivated but the idea of Edward and Marcus. The fact that Marcus has brought Edward pleasure, despite Edward's sexual orientation, is one of the strongest and most key supporting factors for the sheer power of D/s in this fic. When done well, it's so powerful it even overrides the most basic of sexual desires, making it more important than the sex of your partner. I think THIS may be one of the reasons I ADORE the Marcus scenes so much.

    “Open your eyes, you lovesick fool,” I teased, knowing I was smiling, too. - Their kiss and tender moment warned me to my very core. I LOVE this relationship. Seriously, almost as much as E& B!

    Oh and my relationship with my bank account is lazy at best! Although I don't have any cheques waiting to be cashed by Doms as far as I know.

    Everything about Bella's hotel room moment strikes a chord with me. I used to travel a little with my last job and those hotel beds really do make you feel tiny when you're used to sharing with you duvet-hogging, cuddly man. AND we didn't have a bath in our old flat either so I used to always take advantage in the hotel room :)

    Attraction to attraction - PERFECT for him.

    “Type casting,” Isabella interjects. - HAHAHAHAHA!

    What I'd give to have my man be as confident at phone sex as Edward, sigh.

    IT Guy to the rescue! That whole thing was brilliant. I've lost count of how many IT people I have snapped at during a panicked or frustrating time. A great twist.

    A x

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    1. Despite the fact that Edward never went to Marcus for pleasure, you're absolutely right. One of my favorite features about this Edward is his openness to do whatever needs to be done in order to achieve his goals. In this case, he wanted to be the best dom, so he put himself in that awkward position (no pun intended). I believe this is a natural offshoot of his confidence.

      That IT thing was maybe a bit of a stretch, but you get the idea. Dark Prince on a white stallion! xxx

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  30. Wow Born, I didn't realize I was so far behind and this chapter should not be missed! Honestly I get so lost in this story, I just float into the emotions. It's wonderful. Adored the insight of Edward's last submissive day and truly felt the love and admiration of Marcus. There's an undeniable bond between these two and those relationships are hard to come by-beautiful.
    Love their reconnecting by phone and how easily they can pick-up from where they left off. Ugh! So hot these two. The 'look' Edward describes when people are in love? So true-so absolutely true and a huge turn-on. I totally get why 'our' friends desire to find their souls mates as we did...
    Poor Bella's worst nightmare but ever-loving, all knowing and drop everything for Bella Edward saved the day. Love him, love them.
    Can't help but smile and feel content-thank you. xo

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    1. I know you appreciate their special looks, K! Happy you find the beauty in E's relationship with Marcus. I just love exploring that. If I made you smile, it's all good! XX

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  31. It's so cute that the first time she has to use her safe word is over a dead computer at an important presentation! Their closeness, their playfulness inspires great thoughts in me, not to mention the feelings. I'm just going to keep reading this story as if it will never end....

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    1. It will feel like the neverending story! You're only 3/4 there!

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