Theirs to cherish, p.3
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       Theirs to Cherish, p.3

         Part #8 of Wicked Lovers series by Shayla Black
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  The realization wrenched her heart.

  Callie had been desperately ignoring the writing on the wall for months. She’d allowed herself to become emotionally compromised and far too relaxed. Sean kept prying deeper into her psyche. If she wasn’t careful, it wouldn’t be long before he put two and two together. The questions he asked already made her nervous.

  Maybe the time to depart Dominion had already come. No, she knew it had. She needed to leave everything behind. Pack up and move on. The sooner the better.

  “Callie . . . ” His tone was a warning.

  She heaved in a cleansing breath and shoved every thought from her mind, centering herself on his presence and her need to submit to him just this once before she ditched him for good.

  “I’m fine, Sir. ” Before she lost her nerve, she raised her other arm above her head, an offering of her trust in him.

  “Finally. ” His fingers curled around her, warm and protective, his thumb stroking over the vulnerable inside of her arm before he fastened down her last cuff. “Thank you, lovely. You look beautiful bound for me. Your trust is heady. ”

  And scarier than hell. “I know it’s not much. ”

  “Shh. From you, it’s a great deal. I know that was hard for you. ”

  “Can I open my eyes for just a minute?”

  Sean paused. “Do you need to see me?”

  Frantically, Callie nodded, fighting the insidious panic seeping from her veins.

  “Open them, then. We’ll go slowly. ”

  Her lashes fluttered open, and she focused on him in the bright dungeon. Square face, sharp jaw, dark goatee, strong nose, muscled body. A furrow seemed permanently notched between his heavy brows. A little scar sat under the corner of his right eye, and she would have sworn it came from the nick of a bullet if he seemed like that kind of guy. Everything about him looked so masculine and aggressive. Yet he treated her so tenderly. If she had special-ordered the perfect man, he would be Sean. No doubt he’d wondered a hundred times over what he’d done to earn her distrust. The thought made her sad.

  If she ever wanted to know what submission felt like, what Sean felt like, before she moved onto her next identity, she was going to have to give in this once. Simple as that.

  “Thank you,” she murmured.

  “I’m going to blindfold you now. ”

  A scary prospect . . . but one she felt ready to handle now. Besides, her hearing had saved her the night her family had been murdered, as well as from Holden’s betrayal.

  “Yes, Sir. ”

  Sean caressed her neck, his fingertips gliding down her collarbones to the swells of her breasts, thumbing her puckered nipple covered by nearly transparent white cotton. “You’re pleasing me greatly. ”

  He pleased her, too. Everything inside her yearned to show him that. She smiled and lifted her head so he could fit a silky black scrap that looked like a sleep mask over her eyes. Its weight felt light and nonthreatening. Then he clasped her hand. Callie squeezed back.

  “Have you ever been both restrained and blindfolded?”

  “Not entirely, and only for demonstration purposes. ”

  She’d actually scened with very few people. Logan Edgington had usually wanted to give her a red ass to correct her bratty behavior. His friend Xander had enjoyed arousing her body, but he’d never awakened even a corner of her heart. She’d spent a little time with some of the other resident Doms at Dominion with similar results. Eric had a fascination with ball gags that made her shudder. Zeb seemed a tad too excited by feet for her comprehension. His nibbling at her toes had icked her out. Jason had not only been a stickler for protocol, but a big fan of Shibari. It had taken Callie less than four minutes to scream her safe word. Then there was Thorpe . . . He was in a class all by himself. And way beyond her reach.

  “Demonstration?” Sean sounded shocked.

  Callie nodded. “Yeah. But I haven’t done one in about two years. ”

  Not since that December Thorpe had asked her to bottom for a demo . . . then afterward, behind closed doors, the kindling heat between them had exploded into a tangle of arms and lips, sighs and discarded clothes. She’d been wet and ready and so desperate for him, naked on his bed. Then he’d abruptly walked away without an explanation, behaving as if nothing had ever happened. To this day, she didn’t know why he’d left her. And he’d never asked her to assist him in a presentation again.

  That hurt didn’t matter anymore. Old crap. Only Sean was important now.

  “Were you able to bear the restraint then because you knew someone would free you if need be? If that’s the case, lovely, the dungeon monitors would have my balls in an instant if they thought I was hurting you. ”

  “I know. ” They were intensely protective of all the women in the club, but especially fellow staff.

  “Well, then?” Sean’s swift reply asked how she had managed to be tied down for Dom/sub education purposes when she could barely tolerate it with someone she yearned to put all her trust in. Her only answer was that Thorpe had been the one doing the tying. She trusted him more than she trusted anyone. He knew her quirks and had accommodated them.

  But she hated Sean believing that she lacked faith in him. Callie latched on to the first explanation to hit her brain. “Logically, I know you’re right. Sadly, logic doesn’t always penetrate fear. It’s a bit like a phobia. ”

  He didn’t answer right away, just brushed his thumb back and forth over her nipple until it tingled and she wished he’d just tear off her clothes and fuck her already. She’d wanted him for so many long months.

  “Have you always been this way?”

  “Since I got into BDSM. ” She’d lied to Sean often, but always tried to stay as close to the truth as possible.

  “Do you know what caused your fear, lovely? Was it something in your past?”

  Callie bit back a snort. Pretty much everything. “It wasn’t any one event. ”

  And that wasn’t a total lie, just a realization that restraint severely inhibited her ability to flee if her murder rap caught up to her.

  “Are you sure? Tell me about your childhood. Maybe something there will help me better understand. ”

  This again? He must have asked twenty times since snapping a collar around her neck to tell him about her formative years. She managed to simply say that she was from the Midwest and was an orphan. Again, not lies . . . just not the complete truth.

  She clenched her hands into fists. “The longer we talk, the more nervous I get. Please . . . ”

  “We will finish this conversation, lovely. ”

  No, they wouldn’t.

  “Yes, Sir. ”

  Sean sighed. “You’re doing well, so I’ll reward you now. ”

  He leaned over her, caressed her shoulders in his big hands, then his nimble fingers made short work of the waist-cinching corset she’d chosen earlier. He began unlacing it just beneath her breasts, slowly parting the panels down her torso before he detached it from her body. The garment provided enough support under her breasts to render a bra unnecessary. When he tore off the thin white tank she’d worn beneath, his groan, coupled with his hands cupping her breasts reverently, told her that he approved.

  “Always so damn beautiful, Callie. ”

  No way to miss the worship in his voice. No man had ever made her feel so wanted.

  He plucked at her nipples, pinching gently, turning the peaked nubs, controlling the flow of blood. The second he released them, sensation slammed into her. Hypersensitive and hard, the nubs tingled and bunched harder. She whimpered.

  Then he bent to her, breathing harshly in her ear before he kissed his way down her neck, nipping at her fair skin until a shiver wracked her. She felt deliciously vulnerable, helpless to stop whatever he did to her body. He might deliver pleasure. He might heap on pain. And she could only accept what he chose.

  So far, submitting was every bit as thrilling as she’d imagined. Yeah, plent
y of folks might think she was warped, but as much as she had feared it, the surrender of her will to Sean made her feel oddly treasured. And it aroused her, especially when he pressed soft kisses around the exposed flesh of her breasts. Beside her nipples, below them, hovering just above, he toyed and teased with his mouth. He made her gasp and hold her breath in anticipation of his every hot exhalation over her skin and every sweet nibble with his teeth.

  With a little pleading mewl, she lifted her hips to him, waiting for him to realize that under her tiny black skirt, she wore the barest scrap of lace over her drenched pussy.

  Sean braced the heel of his palm just above her mound and pushed down gently. “I promised you a reward, lovely. Not necessarily an orgasm. Do I have to punish you to make you understand?”

  He’d spanked her a few times, but she hadn’t considered it much of a punishment. Instead, the release of fire under her skin went right to her clit and made her throb with unrelenting desire. Always sharp, Sean had quickly come to understand that ignoring her or acting with utter disinterest was far more effective in changing her behavior. The more she cared, the more disappointing him crushed her.

  “No, Sir. ” She just wanted to feel him in every way he’d allow.

  “I’d rather not. I have a special plan for you, but I’ll need you to be a wee bit patient. ” He chuckled. “Though I know you’ll find that a torture all its own, I’ll make it worth your while. ”

  Callie grimaced. Her impatience around Dominion was well-known. A childhood of indulgence hadn’t prepared her for the special hell of delayed gratification. Sean specialized in spacing out her rewards until she sometimes felt like screaming. Then again, the breath-stealing orgasms were always worth the wait.

  She just wished he’d let her return the favor. No matter how hard his cock looked or how much desire-induced sweat drenched his skin, he never availed himself of her body. Just like he never asked to see her outside Dominion’s walls. Not for the first time, she wondered if he had a wife or girlfriend tucked away elsewhere. She was too afraid to ask.

  With a snarl, Sean removed his hands. “What the hell is in your head that’s so engrossing you keep drifting away from me? I want your full attention, Callie. ”

  Continuing her policy of honesty when possible, she gave him most of the truth. “I wish I could touch you. ”

  “You mean you’d like your hands free, to escape being bound?”

  “No. As hard as I found it to allow, I’m enjoying your restraints. I just want the chance to give you the pleasure you give me. ”

  He sucked in a sharp breath. “Be good and perhaps I’ll let you. ”

  The way his voice shook, Callie hoped that meant he wanted her at least half as much as she wanted him. “Please . . . ”

  “Behave, lovely. You’re not in charge here. ”

  She pressed her lips together, did her best to lie silently and let him have his way. She expected him to use those slightly rough palms of his to abrade and arouse her until she pleaded. Then he’d do his best to ask questions designed to get in her head. She usually had to work to keep her wits about her and give him nothing more than a scrap of information so he would finally grant her screaming pleasure.

  That wasn’t on his agenda today.

  Instead, Sean released her ankle restraints and detached her wrists from the table. Arms encircled her, then he helped her to her feet. She didn’t often find herself topless in the club, so the feeling was hugely foreign . . . but not unwelcome. The cool air brushed her skin, beading her nipples more. It was an intriguing contrast to the pure heat rolling off Sean as he led her to dangling chains in the ceiling.

  Poised behind her, he worked the snap hook attached to her bindings through the chains, securing her arms above her head.

  “Spread your legs and keep them there. ” His words brooked no refusal, despite his calm tones. He never had to yell to make his point.

  Biting her lip, Callie complied, but she didn’t understand his intent. She knew she shouldn’t, but she brushed her face against her extended arm to work the rim of the blindfold down, then she peeked at him over her shoulder.

  Sean snapped her mask back in place. “Stop, you minx. Eyes front. You’ll see me when I want you to, not before. Right now, focus on staying out of your head. Feel your body instead. Your skin, your breath, your pleasure. If your thoughts start intruding, try to block them. ” He pressed his chest to her back and cradled her breasts. “I want to give this gift to you, lovely, but you have to do your part. ”

  If this was her one night of submission to experience all Sean Kirkpatrick had to offer, then she would do her very best.

  “Yes, Sir. ”

  “Good. Would you like ear buds with music to help you concentrate?”

  And take away her ability to hear? “No. ”

  “All right. Take a deep breath and let it out. Clear your mind. Feel your muscles let loose. ”

  Like preparing to do yoga.

  She did everything exactly as he’d commanded. It put her in a relaxed state. Well, as relaxed as she could be.

 

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