The collar, p.10
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       The Collar, p.10

         Part #6 of Submissive series by Tara Sue Me
 
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  admonished herself. Say it. Just say it. “When I wore your collar, things were different. I was your submissive. I’m not now and I’m not going to act like I am.”

  He nodded. “Fair enough. That means the playroom is off-limits. You can stay in the guest room and I’ll be in the master bedroom.”

  Her gut twisted. The guest room. Hell, it was going to be nine kinds of odd to be living in Jeff’s house and staying in the guest room. She’d shared his room when she lived with him before. The guest room was for guests.

  “I have a trial coming up the end of next week. I’m going to need a lot of time and quiet and privacy. I’ll be working late almost every night. I don’t want you to worry.”

  “You know how secluded the cabin is. There’s no one around for miles. That’s part of what makes it so safe. If someone shows up who doesn’t belong, I’ll know.”

  Of course she remembered. She remembered everything about his house and the land he’d built it on. Tucked away out of the city, it looked more like a rural hunting lodge than a house just a few miles from one of the state’s largest cities.

  She never had to worry about anyone unexpectedly showing up at Jeff’s. He had no nearby neighbors, and the road near his house didn’t lead anywhere else. She remembered all too well how often he’d liked to exploit that fact when she’d worn his collar. The days he’d have her walk around the house naked, including walking out to get the mail once the mailman had left. It’d taken her some time to get used to it, but eventually she’d grown to enjoy it.

  Mostly, she’d enjoyed his reaction to her being naked all day long. The way his gaze had followed her wherever she went. The undeniable look of desire, pride, and male satisfaction he had about her. How he’d watch while she went to the mailbox and then take her against the door as soon as she returned.

  “Did you hear anything I just said?” he asked.

  Shit, no. “Yes.”

  He looked at her in amusement. “What did I say, then?”

  “It’s not really fair how you know when I’m lying.” She waited for him to say something, but he just stood and watched her. “No. I don’t know what you were saying. I was too busy remembering other things.”

  But he didn’t react to her provocation. “I said, you’ll have plenty of time and privacy to work. I won’t disturb you. I’ll be trying to find out who’s behind this note. But you’re not driving anywhere alone. Either you go with me or you don’t go at all.”

  “Absolutely not. There’s no—”

  He held a hand up to quiet her. “It’s not negotiable. Anyone could follow you while you were driving, and if you’re going to be working late, that’s even worse. You’re hiring me to keep you safe, remember? My rules.”

  Damn it all. Now she would feel like a prisoner with Jeff following her everywhere she went. It would be like her father all over again. But honestly, she asked herself, what did she expect? “I should have gone to someone else,” she grumbled.

  “And you know what I would have done if I’d found out.”

  He’d have gone ape shit if she’d hired another security person to help her. Now that she thought about it, maybe that would have been the thing to do. But no sooner had the thought crossed her mind than she knew she’d never have done it. Watching a jealous Jeff might be entertaining for a few minutes, but it would have been a childish thing to do, and she didn’t play childish games.

  “Bottom line is I want the best,” she said.

  “Which is why I’m going to be somewhat of an ass and an overbearing bastard to ensure your safety.”

  “Well, at least this way you’ll have an excuse.”

  “You came to me, remember? It’s either me or your father.”

  Jeff hated her father. She’d never been able to figure out exactly why. Growing up, her father had been okay. He’d gotten along with most of her high school dates. Even in college when she’d invite boys over for a long break, her father had been cordial. But never had he been that way with Jeff. He’d never even pretended. Neither of them had.

  “Okay. Fine,” she said. “I’ll let you drive me.”

  “Glad you see things my way. I don’t want your father involved either. I’ll have enough shit to put up with if your dad ever finds out I knew you were threatened and didn’t call the police.”

  It hit her then why he was willing to take her on.

  “You’re doing this to spite my father.”

  He didn’t deny it.

  “Damn it, Jeff.”

  “I won’t say the thought never crossed my mind, but no, that’s not it.”

  “Then what is it?”

  His expression became pained, and she knew whatever he was getting ready to say would cost him. He wasn’t a man who often admitted his feelings.

  “You know damn well it would kill me if anything happened to you, Dena.”

  Which was as close to an “I love you” as she was going to get out of him. He’d let it slip the night Daniel collared Julie, but he probably wouldn’t say the words again. Especially with her moving in.

  Suddenly, she realized how very tired she was.

  “Let’s go to your place. I’m ready to crash.”

  Chapter Six

  Six years ago

  Dena woke to the smell of frying bacon and smiled. She loved lazy Saturday mornings at Jeff’s house. Every time she slept over on a Friday night, he’d make her breakfast the next morning.

  He hadn’t collared her yet, but neither one of them played with anyone else. They’d been together for six months, ever since the night of the play party when he’d given her forty-five minutes and they’d ended up staying in the room until the party ended.

  She slowly stretched her arms over her head, reliving the prior night’s activities through the slight aches and pains that greeted her. Jeff hadn’t been lying when he’d told her on their first date that he knew he could be hard to serve. He was tough and demanding, but when she gave him her best, his rewards were unlike anything she’d ever experienced before.

  He wasn’t like anyone she’d ever been with. The way he looked at her while they were in his playroom, like he wanted to worship her and ravage her both at the same time, left her wanting to give herself completely to him. He’d made it clear he didn’t want a Master/slave relationship, and that was fine with her. She just wanted more than what they had now.

  Not that she was complaining. She spent most Friday nights at his house, and they went to the group meetings and parties together. She just wanted more. But she was afraid to say anything for fear of ruining what they had.

  Wearing one of Jeff’s T-shirts, she walked to the kitchen and stopped for just a second in the doorway to watch him. He had on only a pair of sweatpants, which was fine by her. Situated the way he was, she had a great view of his muscular back. He transferred the bacon from the pan to a serving plate, and she almost sighed at the way such a simple act made his muscles move.

  She padded over to him and wrapped her arms around him, placing a kiss right in the middle of his back. “Good morning, handsome.”

  He turned around and gave her a soft kiss. “Good morning to you. Ready for breakfast?”

  She set the table, and within minutes they were settled at his cozy table, eating.

  “You don’t want any coffee?” he asked, nodding toward her glass of orange juice.

  “Not this morning. I decided I like having enamel on my teeth.”

  He scoffed. “It’s not that bad.”

  “We’re going to have to disagree on the whole question of what constitutes good coffee.” She spread jam on a piece of toast. “Or maybe we could spend the night at my apartment for once and I could make you coffee. Why is it we always spend the night here, anyway?”

  “Because I’m the one with all the fun toys.”

  “Right.” She perked up. “We could make my spare bedroom a playroom.”

  He cocked an eyebrow at her. “I’m sure the Homeowners’ Association would love tha
t.”

  “Pesky homeowners.”

  “You’re welcome to make coffee anytime you’d like. Assuming you get up before I do.”

  Which would never happen on a Saturday morning. It was one of her few chances to sleep in. “I get up at five Monday through Friday to jog. I typically take off on Saturdays, but you never know.” She gave a small laugh. “You might wake up to find I’m off running down the street and there’s coffee brewing in the kitchen.”

  It was supposed to be a lighthearted joke, so she was surprised when he didn’t smile.

  “There’s another option,” he said. “You could move in with me.”

  He was asking her to move in? Her heart began to race. “Here?”

  “It’s actually a two-part request.”

  There was more? She held her breath and waited. He reached across the table and took her hands.

  “I enjoy our time together, Dena, and I’d like more of it. I want more of you.” His dark eyes were heavy with emotion. “I’d like to offer you my collar.”

  She was speechless. She, who Jeff said could talk the bark off a tree, had no words.

  “Dena?”

  She blinked and realized her eyes were wet. “Jeff,” she finally managed to get out. Pushing back from the table, she walked the few steps to him and climbed in his lap. “Yes,” she said, wrapping her arms around him. “Yes. Collar me. Make me yours.”

  The next weekend she arrived to the playroom early, not surprised to find Jeff inside waiting. Lit candles were everywhere: lining the tables and his cabinets, even placed on the room’s lone window ledge. They should have given the room a soft, romantic look, but she knew there was probably only one reason he’d have candles out.

  He looked particularly handsome waiting for her in his black jeans and T-shirt. Dark as the devil himself, her grandmother would say. And Dena had a feeling Jeff would be unusually devilish tonight.

  The thought made her smile in spite of her misgivings, and she walked into the room, her nerves at attention just thinking about what he might do to her. His eyes never left her body as she made her way toward him.

  He nodded at her, and she dropped to her knees before him, moving quickly into his desired waiting position.

  He brushed her cheek. “Why are you here tonight?”

  “To become yours, Sir.”

  When her previous Dom collared her, he’d invited his friends over. Though she wouldn’t have minded Jeff collaring her with group members present, she thought it more intimate and personal with just the two of them.

  “Will you wear my collar, Dena?”

  Her heart thumped with anticipation. “Yes, Sir.”

  He buckled something around her throat. “It’s black leather, so I won’t ask you to wear it to work. Instead, you’ll wear this.” It was a beautiful silver cufflike bracelet. “It has ‘Property of Master Jeff’ on the inside.” He latched it around her right wrist. “What do you think?”

  Her entire body somehow perceived the weight of his ownership. She felt protected and cared for. “I love them, Sir.”

  “You will address me as ‘Master’ when we’re in this room.”

  “Yes, Master,” she said, delighting in the knowledge that she and she alone held that privilege.

  “Kiss my feet in thanks.”

  It wasn’t the first time he’d asked her to do that, and she’d discovered it was something she enjoyed. There was something raw about kissing someone’s feet. She couldn’t explain why, but the entire process turned her on.

  She slid to her elbows and lowered her body. “Thank you for collaring me, Master,” she whispered before placing a kiss on the top of his foot. “I’m honored to wear the symbol of your dominance,” she said before kissing the other.

  “I’m honored to have you wear it,” he said. “Now crawl to the table and get on your back.”

  She even liked crawling for him, knowing he couldn’t keep his eyes off her. She moved slowly, making sure he got an eyeful, and flipped her hair over her shoulder before getting on the table. She usually wore it down for him. He liked to stroke it and loved to pull it.

  He’d laid a sheet across the leather table. Nearby were unlit candles, a fire extinguisher, a lighter, and a bowl of ice cubes. Her belly quivered with both excitement and dread. They’d never done wax play before.

  “I thought a night as special as this called for candles,” he said, taking a bottle she hadn’t noticed and pouring what appeared to be oil into his hands.

  “Very appropriate, Master,” she said even though she wasn’t completely sure.

  “Tell me why you’re nervous,” he commanded softly while he started a sensual massage along her upper body. “Why the fear in your eyes?”

  For some reason, it always surprised her when he read her emotions like that. No one else had ever been able to do so.

  “I’ve only done this a few times,” she said, her mouth suddenly dry. “It wasn’t my favorite.”

  He talked while carefully rubbing oil into her upper arms. “This isn’t a hard limit for you.”

  “No, Master, and I can already tell this will be different. He didn’t use the oil.”

  His hands moved across her chest, and she wanted to relax under his touch, but memories of the past wouldn’t let her.

  “The oil makes it easier to get the wax off. Plus, it gives me a reason to touch you all over.” He leaned down and whispered in her ear, “As if I need one.”

  Her heart pounded faster at his words, and she gave him a little smile.

  “Here’s how this is going to work.” He moved down her body to coat her belly with oil. “I’m going to continue, and you’re not allowed to think of the past. Anytime a memory tries to enter your mind, you remind yourself that you’re mine and that I’m a jealous Master. Understood?” He looked up and waited.

  “Yes, Master.”

  He was at her legs now, massaging them with his rhythmic touch. “Remember when you wanted to prove to me that you would be the best submissive I’d ever been with?”

  She nodded.

  “This is me proving to you that I’m the best. By the end of the night, wax play’s going to be on your Love It list.” He glanced up to her for confirmation, and she saw the determination in his eyes. Hearing him, she almost believed him.

  “I can see you don’t quite think so,” he said. “That’s okay. I can be very persuasive.” He took a leg in each hand and spread them. “I want you to stay like this. Do I need to bind you?”

  “No, Master.”

  “I’m not going to blindfold you either, because it’ll be much harder for you to remember the past when you’re struggling to obey my command to keep your eyes closed.”

  Fuck. She hoped she could do this.

  He moved to stand at her side, right near the table with the candles and the matches and the—

  “Right now,” he said sternly. “Close them.”

  She took a deep breath and closed them. This is Jeff. This is Jeff. This is Jeff, she repeated in her head until she’d calmed a bit.

  “Good job,” he said.

  The room was absurdly still. She took another deep breath. Her hands fisted in the sheets at her sides, and she felt the weight of his cuff. The simple reminder that she was his calmed her further.

  A match struck to her side, and the scent of sulfur filled the air.

  She tensed but quickly relaxed when she reminded herself who it was holding the candle.

  “Upper right arm,” he said seconds before a trail of heat hit her arm.

  She exhaled as the heat subsided.

  “Upper left arm,” he said, and a twin heat landed. “How does it feel?”

  “Hot.”

  “Too hot? Do we need to stop?”

  “No, Master. It’s not near as bad as before.”

 
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